Feb 2012 25

Make Blog Not War: a Freedom of Expression Training for Bloggers

India International Centre Annexe, New Delhi

Are you a blogger and interested in deepening your understanding of Internet censorship and freedom of expression as they play out in India? Would you like to know more about the ways in which such issues may affect you directly? As a blogger, do you see yourself has having an important stake in the freedom of expression debate? Then this is your chance.

Call for Applications #


The Internet Democracy Project is organising a training on freedom of expression and censorship for bloggers on 25 February 2012. In the course of this day-long program, a mix of short lectures and more interactive sessions will take you through:

  • the history of censorship in India and its current status;

  • the legal framework regarding online censorship and the ways in which it may affect you;

  • debates on difficult questions such as where and how to draw the line where hate speech is concerned;

  • what to do if you are served a legal notice;

  • alternatives to censorship to fight problematic content;

and much more. Throughout the training, we will of course be paying particular attention to how all of this may affect your blog and yourself.

As the training aims to be highly interactive and will draw to a significant extent on participants’ experiences and inputs, there will be space for only fifteen select and experienced bloggers. They will be joined by four trainers: lawyer and law and tech blogger Apar Gupta; documentary film maker Bishakha Datta; literary critic, journalist and blogger Nilanjana Roy; and the Internet Democracy Project’s Anja Kovacs.

The event will take place in Delhi, from 10 am until 5 pm. Bloggers from all over India are welcome to apply: the Internet Democracy Project will take care of the travel costs of all participants in the event as well as food for the duration of the event (as this is a day-long program, we will, however, not be able to provide any accommodation).

In return for facilitating your presence in the training, we ask that you write five blog posts on issues related to freedom of expression in India in the two months following the event. That is the commitment you make if you decide to join us.

Are you interested in being part of this program? Please send your answers to the questions below to Anja Kovacs, anja[at]internetdemocracy[dot]in as soon as possible and by 17 February at the latest. Selected participants will be informed on 18 February.

Where do you blog? If you are on Twitter, please do include your Twitter handle as well.

Why are you interested in joining this training?

Have you blogged on or otherwise engaged with freedom of expression issues before? If so, please share some details.

What are particular issues/​questions you would like to see covered in the training?

Have you ever implemented any kind of censorship on your blog? Please expand (please note that answering yes to this question is not a reason to disqualify you from participation!).

Has anyone ever attempted to censor you as a blogger in one way or the other? Please expand.

Please note that while a demonstrated interest in one form or another (including on Twitter or Facebook) is definitely a plus, expertise in freedom of expression issues is not a requirement for participation.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Agenda #

10 am – 11 am: Welcome and introductions

11 am – 11.30 am: Tea/​coffee Break

11.30 am – 1 pm: Censorship, Society, Yourself — Session led by Nilanjana Roy

1 pm – 2 pm: Lunch

2 pm – 2.20 pm: The Internet and Censorship in India: A Backgrounder — Presentation by Anja Kovacs

2.20 pm – 3.30 pm: Legal Clinic: Everything You Always Wanted to Know But Were Too Afraid to Ask about Censorship and Blogging — Session led by Apar Gupta

3.30 pm – 3.45 pm: Tea/​coffee Break

3.45 pm – 4.45 pm: Alternatives and the Way Forward — Is (Self-)Censorship the Only Way Out? — Session led by Bishakha Datta

4.45 pm – 5 pm: Wrap-up and goodbyes