[Geneva, Switzerland – 09 December 2011] – The Internet Society welcomed the focus of today’s United Nations Human Rights Day event highlighting the transformational role of the Internet and social media applications in giving voice to people around the world. The Internet Society is a strong advocate of an open and accessible Internet, and sees the Internet as an enabler of human rights.
The influence of the Internet and social media on the ability of citizens to connect, share ideas, and join communities is undeniable. In 2011, popular movements in the Middle East and North Africa demonstrated the Internet’s power to enable individuals to exercise their fundamental rights, in particular the right to freedom of expression as well as the right to peaceful assembly and association. In this context, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights also points to the role of social media in peaceful protest movements in many other cities across the globe.
These events illustrate the powerful impact of social media by generating awareness of and support for efforts of people from all walks of life seeking to bring about change, unconstrained by borders, time, and distance.
“The Internet’s influence on society has been profound,” said Lynn St. Amour, Internet Society President and CEO. “The Internet Society is committed to ensuring an open, global, and accessible Internet. It is an instrumental tool to sustain basic human aspirations for freedom and social development.”