Amnesty International Australia Confronts Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Baido and Sohu

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Amnesty International Australia is to launch with a social media awareness campaign ahead of the Beijing Olympics confronting Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Baido and Sohu.

Today, Amnesty International Australia announced it had contracted a specialist consortium team, Care Network, Bendalls Group and dgmAustralia, to develop and launch a social media campaign in defense of human rights in China. The campaign will ask Australian bloggers to unite and support their Chinese counterparts who have been banned, blocked, denied and imprisoned by the Chinese government for using the Internet to express their right to freedom of speech.

The Social Media campaign will be used to confront Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft for agreeing to Chinese censorship laws that block the freedom of reporting and expression over the Internet. In the run up to the Olympic games in Beijing, Amnesty International will use a series of content pieces, from online commentary to a widgets and flag badges for the Australian blog community and social media groups to take up, use and pass on to their friends as a sign of support for freedom of speech.

Amnesty International Australia Campaign Coordinator, Sophie Peer commented, "We know it is an issue the online community is talking about. There is concern in Australia that Chinese Government censorship of the Internet is coming to these shores too. We are asking the Australian online public to amplify their concerns about the issues of Internet censorship and the consequential imprisonment of innocent Chinese people, such as Shi Tao who simply used his Yahoo! email account to pass on censorship directives from the Chinese government and is now serving ten years in prison. Our own Australian athletes and reporters could be inhibited from expressing their own opinions online and using the Internet freely while they are in Beijing. It is a concern for all Australian's in the run up to the Beijing Olympics."

Peter Buckmaster, Director at Care Network said, "By creating a specialist team consortium, we have been able to devise a strategy for Amnesty International Australia that is in the heartland of the online conversation and individuals concerns. We brought in Fi Bendall from Bendalls Group to lead the social media-marketing component and Katy Woodrow Hill from dgmAustralia is leading the social media optimisation component, to work with us to bring to Amnesty an end-to-end social media campaign that confronts us all on the highly emotive issue of Internet censorship."

Facebook, MySpace and a network of Australian Bloggers will be used to encourage supporters to act against Internet censorship by the Chinese Government. The campaign will culminate in a Day of Protest, being held in Martin Place, Sydney on July 30, 2008, with social media being used to encourage people to attend. More information can be found at

An Australian Facebook Cause Group already has attracted 1,450 members and more information can be found at

About Amnesty International Australia:

We are part of the global movement defending human rights and dignity. We work with people in Australia and our region to demand respect for human rights and protect people facing abuse. To do this, we mobilise people, campaign, conduct research and raise money for our work. We are promoting a culture where human rights are embraced, valued and protected.

Amnesty International Australia's vision is of a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments. Amnesty International is concerned solely with the impartial protection of human rights.

Join Amnesty International Australia in its fight for freedom.

About Care Network:

Care Network is a marketing communications agency dedicated to expanding the reach of not-for-profits and socially aware organisations.

About Bendalls Group:

Bendalls Group is a digital strategic services consultancy with a specialism in digital business strategy, social media marketing and advocacy

About dgmAustralia:

dgm is a performance marketing company utilising online channels that provide a demonstrable return on investment (ROI) across Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Social media Optimisation (SMO), Affiliate Marketing and Display Advertising.


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Fiona Bendall

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