Avaaz: The Revolution Will Be Digitized

Avaaz in several European, Middle Eastern and Asian languages means “voice”, a web community created in 2007 to implement a simple democratic mission: protecting rights and civil interests and on behalf of people directing politicians to make global decisions.But this requires new legal rules of the game, with which the bureaucratic system will resist with all its might. All we have today are organizations like Change.org or Avaaz.org, which online activism could turn into real changes.

Many official publications have already managed to name the Avaaz network more effective than the UN. Unlike the United Nations, Avaaz is not governed by the state, but by simple activists from around the world. To make decisions, organizations do not need to summon summits, enough online meetings and voting.

The history of this company has only eight years of activity, and the number of its participants exceeds 40 million people and grows in real time – just look at the counter on the site. Avaaz originated in the United States as the cooperation of several social organizations and individual activists. Avaaz has several staffs in different countries, but promising their activities focuses on online activism: petitions, email attacks, video calls to state leaders, information campaigns in popular media.

The focus of Avaaz activities so far lies more in the areas of animal rights, indigenous peoples and the spread of democracy. But who knows, perhaps, from the requirements of whale protection and the banning of cluster bombs, they will pass to radical political ones.

With the assistance of Avaaz, repressions in Tibet have already been stopped, in Thailand – it is forbidden to kill elephants, in Costa Rica – because of homophobic statements the congressman is deprived of his post, in Uganda – the law that condemned gays to death punishment was postponed. In Brazil, thanks to the petition of Avaaz, which collected 1.5 million signatures, a new anti-corruption law was adopted, etc.

Also, because Avaaz’s information campaign in British newspapers, Syrian students who were studying at that time in the UK after the crisis in their country were allowed to continue to study for free. The United States and the European Parliament refused to adopt censorship laws on the Internet after more than 3 million activists signed the relevant Avaaz petition. Also activists Avaaz campaigned in support of the WikiLeaks and Snowden project during the scandals associated with them.

Obviously, Avaaz is really starting to become a serious player. In countries such as China or Iran, the organization is generally banned. However, the influence of Avaaz is more noticeable in third world countries – such as Pakistan, Lebanon, Costa Rica, politically influential states do not yet take into account the recommendations of online signatories.

In the CIS countries the service is not very popular. However, it is necessary to take into account the specifics of the Avaaz work. The participants of the network direct their efforts to solving not one but many problems in different parts of the world, which may not concern them directly. Accordingly, to conduct campaigns using the Avaaz platform is better in matters relating to universal values. The activist group continues to fight the good fight, with positive results, despite criticisms.

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