In 1989, the fall of the Berlin Wall became a striking symbol for free expression far beyond the borders of Germany. Just 20 years later, Iranian citizens used online tools like YouTube and Twitter to share firsthand accounts of the brutal government crackdown waged against protesters disputing the country's election results. Many Iranians risked their lives to document the violence, despite the government's attempts to expel journalists and stifle any voices of dissent.
The democratizing power of the Internet has enabled individuals to share their stories with a global audience in ways never before possible, and given a voice to those who wouldn't otherwise be heard.
To commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, we're launching a YouTube channel — youtube.com/GoogleFreeExpression — to highlight and celebrate free expression around the world, and we want to hear from you.
This channel is designed to feature your stories and reflections on free expression. Tell us about how you or someone you know has taken a stand for free expression. Perhaps you've protested against something you didn't agree with, taken action when someone else's free speech was being suppressed or been inspired by someone who has stood up for the right to speak out. Make a short video sharing your experience, upload it to YouTube, and add it as a reply to this one:
We'll be featuring the best submissions on the Google Free Expression channel, so be sure to check back in the weeks to come. We look forward to hearing from you.
Annette Kroeber-Riel, European Policy Counsel, recently watched "Getting past the 'Barbed Wireless'"