Blocking Internet Censorship
Drafted in private by a small number of rich countries and corporations, ACTA would have given powerful multinational actors the ability to control and censor the Internet. When details of the backroom treaty spread, more than 2 million Avaaz members signed a petition to the European Parliament demanding that lawmakers stand up for a free and open Internet and reject the ratification of ACTA. The petition, which grew to nearly 3 million signers, was delivered directly to decision-makers in Brussels. When the law was abandoned during the final vote, the European Parliament's press release announcing ACTA's defeat cited the Avaaz petition as a key factor!
"I was very impressed by Avaaz’s massive 2.8 million person petition which was addressed to the European Parliament. Citizens concerns have been taken seriously by the European Parliament.”
Saving the Internet
In just 3 weeks, over 3 million of us worldwide signed a petition opposing a scandalous bill that would have given the US government the right to shut down any website -- targeting sites like YouTube, WikiLeaks and even Avaaz! We worked with other organisations such as DemandProgress, and President Obama’s team responded. Avaaz organised a 1 hour meeting with top White House officials to deliver the petition. The White House subsequently condemned the bill and key backers withdrew their support. As of right now, the Internet censorship bill is dead in the water. When we started, everyone told us the bill could not be stopped, now it’s been ditched by both parties -- a huge win for internet freedom and for people power!
"We appreciated meeting with Avaaz at the White House to hear the concerns of the more than 1 million who signed an Avaaz petition about online piracy and an open internet. Thank you for your ... commitment to bring more voices to the democratic process."
Beating the Murdoch Mafia
For too long, Rupert Murdoch and his rogue media empire have enjoyed undue influence over our politicians. In 2011 the Murdoch mafia tried to tighten his stranglehold on the UK press by taking over BSkyB. Most said it was a done deal which could not be stopped. We disagreed, launching a tireless campaign involving 1 million online actions, 30,000 phone calls to MPs and a critical 40,000 submissions into the Government consultation on the BSkyB deal. Our actions helped slow down Government approval of the sale until the hacking scandal emerged, which killed it. Internal Government emails later revealed that regulators and Murdoch lobbyists had been scrambling to beat back our campaign but to no avail. Having helped stop the sale, we campaigned to ensure that no media baron is ever again allowed to own too much of the press, a call that has now been echoed in the Leveson Report on UK media reforms.
"Avaaz members in the UK and throughout the world lead the campaign to make politicians listen to the victims of phone hacking. Now everyone knows that Rupert Murdoch just got too powerful ... You spoke out. You made a difference. Thank you."
Free Speech for Italy
Facing growing unpopularity and statutory rape charges, Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi tried to silence his critics by jamming a ludicrous censorship law through parliament. Italian Avaaz members fought back -- spearheading a 70,000-strong petition and placing thousands of phones calls to parliament just before the vote. Berlusconi lost. Italian democracy won.
Real News for Canada
Conservative officials and businessmen in Canada had been working to launch a Murdoch-style propaganda TV network -- but when they moved to strike national journalism standards against false or misleading broadcasts, they brought down a firestorm of opposition. More than a 100,000 Canadian Avaazers signed in opposition, and the outrageous proposal to undermine balanced reporting was withdrawn.