The Daily Times, Pakistan’s leading newspaper, launched a movement called Free my Voice. It urged people to fight for the fundamental right of journalists by making them experience the frustration of being robbed of their right to freely express themselves.
On the 17th of April 2016, a provocative article about the Blasphemy Law was anonymously published on the Daily Times website. Its purpose was to stir the conversation by getting people to comment on the issue. Using the most common medium of self-expression today, people who commented on the article’s comment box experienced how it felt to lose the right to free speech. Each time a person tried to post a comment, an intelligent program analysed it and changed key words to completely alter the meaning of the sentiment. No matter how many attempts a person made, the comment was always altered.After making people experience how it felt to be stripped off the right to free speech, they were directed to take a stand and make a change by donating to fight for free speech on Daily Times website.
As expected, this controversial piece of news got readers to comment. Over 58,590 words / voices were changed to give them a first-hand experience of the censorship journalists go through.The article created a lot of conversation across various social media channel. Leading dailies covered this effort to make readers aware of the censorship journalists face in Pakistan. This effort has forced the Pakistan government to relooking at amending the Blasphemy Law.
Free my Voice made unsuspecting readers of Pakistan’s leading newspaper experience how it felt to lose the right to free speech. Using the most common medium of self-expression today, readers of the Daily Times website were robbed of their right to free speech. As they were typing their comments, an intelligent program embedded on the comment box changed key words to completely alter the meaning of what they wanted to post.
Unlike journalists who constantly face censorship in their day-to-day, there are people who enjoy the freedom to share their thoughts and opinions. One medium that these people use to freely voice out what they want to say isthe comment box.The campaign’s approach was to target the people who are able to freely exercise their right to free speech and make them experience what journalists go through.Given that the comment box is the most common medium where people share their thoughts and opinions, Free my Voice thought that this was the perfect touch point to raise awareness about the campaign.