Home 2017-11-20T04:43:35+00:00
Show Your Voice

Internet Rights for Emerging Voices

Digital Rights are Human Rights

Digital rights are considered to be the same fundamental human rights that exist in the offline world – but in the online world. However, online spaces are facing the biggest threats ever with government shutdowns, lack of adequate privacy regulations, concentration of power in the hands of a few tech giants, internet trolls, cybercrime laws and the list goes on. Now more than ever, we need citizens and civil society to stand up for a free and fair internet. Digital rights are best protected by empowering emerging civil society actors and mainstreaming internet freedom values to established human rights organizations. However, advocating for these rights relies on clear communication and appropriate utilization of digital tools to get the message across. With that in mind, we have created this handy guide on how to use digital strategies to advocate for digital rights.

Know Your Audience

The first step to effective messaging is to KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. This can be done by creating personas. The purpose of personas is to create reliable and realistic representations of your key audience segments for reference. Personas are fictional, generalized characters that encompass the diverse needs, goals, and observed behavior patterns among your potential audience. Start out by imagining who this person is, what their likes and dislikes are, what media they use to receive information, what their education level is and so on. For example, are they more likely to get their information from the radio, from newspapers, from a local community leader or through social media or messaging apps? This enables you to better tailor your message and the format to suit their needs and your goals.

Focus on the Message

Your next task is to distill your messaging into as few words as possible but with maximum impact. Start by looking at the entire topic, then filtering the message down to one paragraph, then 2-3 sentences and then 2-3 words. It’s also a good idea to ask questions to get your audience thinking about the issues you will discuss.

  • ALL CONTENT: This is all the content that is available on a particular topic that you would like to share.
  • A FEW PARAGRAPHS: Condense the content into a few paragraphs, as if you might be writing a one page concept note.
  • ONE PARAGRAPH: Further condense the content in one paragraph. This is something you could share on a social media platform such as Facebook.
  • A FEW SENTENCES: Here’s the tricky part. Now only use 1 or 2 sentences to explain the gist of your message. Try to fit your message into as few words as possible, as if you might be posting this message on Twitter taking into account the 140 character limit.
  • A FEW WORDS: Lastly, distill you entire message into 2-3 words. These are your potential hashtags that you could use for your audience to identify with, to brand your content or to facilitate future searches on the topic.

Once you have a good idea about your target audience, you can then choose which message format you share with them over the most suitable platform.

Focused work amidst Chaos
Using online tools
Use Online Tools

This is the fun and creative part! There are a number of free tools available online with the aim of helping users create beautiful, sleek designs for reports, flyers and social media. Creating compelling visuals for your messages is sure to make your campaign more powerful and impactful. It’s also advisable to brand your campaign with your identity, whether that be a uniform design, colour, font, imagery etc.

You can also find thousands of free images for re-use from these websites:

The three platforms that we recommend are:

Canva

Canva allows a user to create blog graphics, presentations, Facebook covers, flyers, posters and invitations for FREE. It has an easy to use drag-and-drop interface and provides access to over a million photographs, graphics, and fonts. It is used by non-designers as well as professionals.

Pablo

Pablo is a tool which gives users the power to create beautiful images they can share on social media. Similar to Canva, Pablo allows users to choose their preferred social media platform, pick from thousands of free images and add text to the images.

Infogram

Infogram combines the power of visuals and data to create stunning and shareable infographics. Adding data to your messages strengthens your argument and credibility. Infogram also uses a drag-and-drop interface and has powerful, interactive data visualization tools.

Voice Yourself Online and Offline

Finally, it’s time to share your message with the world! Now that you’ve chosen the right medium for your audience, you’ve identified the key message for your campaign and you’ve designed beautiful visuals, the next step is to ensure that your content achieves maximum engagement online or offline. Share your content on email, Facebook or Twitter, send your message over Whatsapp, Viber or Signal, take your flyers to community centers, markets or schools and be sure to talk with your audience. Be ready for any questions and comments!

And now, you’re ready!

Online and Offline Campaigns
Declaration of Internet Freedom
Example

Here’s a great example that takes into account all the points we’ve touched on so far! This is a piece of content has a potentially wide target audience, likely individuals with knowledge and access to the internet. The message is clear, expressed both as a single topic area with a one word heading, but also a larger explanation of 1-2 sentences long. The design is simple and easy to follow, likely something that could be created in a few minutes on Canva or Pablo. It can be shared online on social media, messaging platforms, web pages or via email. It can also be shared offline as a flyer or handout.

Example
Example 2: Keep it on by Access Now

In this example, AccessNow uses two types of imagery: a timeline of network status over the course of 24 hours and the mobile devices in closed fists as a form of protest. Both are powerful in conveying the message to fight internet shutdowns globally. The campaign also uses a short, succinct hashtag #KeepItOn with a short sentence describing the the purpose of the campaign. Lastly, the background of the image itself subtly displays various icons associated with the internet such as the Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp logos. This message is perfect for sharing over social media or within an email.

Example

Our third and last example is part of a series from a data protection campaign in Paraguay that showcases how our data is giving more power to power. The website contains a number of vivid, colourful messages with unique artwork. Each main image at the top in bold writing contains a catchy title of 3-5 words and below has 1 slightly longer sentence explaining the negative consequences when data is insecure. Below each title image, there are a series of other similar images that use a similar format of short sentences and bright, catchy images to explain difficult concepts around data privacy. The messages further include facts and statistics to build up evidence for the campaign. The text also alternates creatively between normal and BOLD text to make a strong point.

Have any questions or need advice? Send us a message at info@pollicy.org.

Example 3: Discrimination by Data in Paraguay

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