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Berkman Releases New ‘Herdict’ Filtering Web Site

Building on the OpenNet Initiative’s (ONI’s) cutting-edge research into global Internet filtering, Berkman is pleased to announce the launch of the Herdict Web site and Firefox add-on. As we were able to show earlier this week on this blog, crowd sourcing of filtering research can be a powerful new tool for understanding what is being blocked in places like Iran, China and elsewhere. However, to be successful, a large community needs to support this initiative, so please check out the video below and Web site to see how it works. This initiative is the brain child of Berkman co-founder and co-Faculty Director Jonathan Zittrain, who stars (sort of) in the video:

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

And from the official announcement:

Herdict is a portmanteau of ‘herd’ and ‘verdict.’ Using Herdict Web, anyone anywhere can report websites as accessible or inaccessible. Herdict Web aggregates reports in real time, permitting participants to see if inaccessibility is a shared problem, giving them a better sense of potential reasons for why a site is inaccessible. Trends can be viewed over time, by site and by country.

So go to the Web site, try it out for yourself and help spread the word!

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4 Responses to “Berkman Releases New ‘Herdict’ Filtering Web Site”

  1. JG Says:

    Love it. Only one minor critique. The video is hosted on YouTube, which leaves out the people for whom YouTube is blocked. Just a thought.

  2. Bruce Etling Says:

    Excellent point! I’ll pass on to the Herdict team.

  3. sy Says:

    You are correct: many folks will have problems with YT, so the video is also available at alternatives such as Ikbis:
    and the Berkman site itself:

  4. TUWD Says:

    Interesting idea. Gathering this type of information is the first step towards removing the boundaries. I wonder if Herdict could also be expanded towards sharing information about whether a site is offline completely and not just blocked or inaccessible to the user in a specific location.