Herdict Web gets bigger and smarter...
Earlier this year the Berkman Center announced the launch of Herdict Web, our tool that uses the distributed power of the Internet community to provide insight into what people around the world are experiencing in terms of web accessibility.
Herdict has now been in the wild for six weeks! and what wild and woolly weeks they have been; for example:
- Update, 4/9/09: Herdict Launches Arabic Site; Saudi Arabia Reports
- Google Confirms YouTube Blocked in China
- Herdict Captures Wikileaks.org Downtime
- Arabic-language Wikipedia Reported Unblocked in Syria
Today the Herdict team released a flock of new features that will increase the reach and effectiveness of Herdict Web. From the Herdict blog:
First you could Herdict. But for our Arabic-speaking users, Herdict just got a whole lot easier! Now you can Herdict بالعربية (in Arabic) at Herdict Web - Arabic!
ONI data shows heavy filtering in many countries across the Middle East and North Africa; from Morocco to Saudi Arabia, countries in the region block sites for political reasons, social reasons, or both. With Herdict Web - Arabic native speakers can make reports, which are then integrated with the English user interface.
Herdict Web - Arabic isn’t the only thing up our sleeves today…We’re also proud to announce the launch of our Internet Explorer toolbar, which allows IE users to report sites on the fly, without having to visit Herdict.org. Simply install the toolbar, and whenever you want to report a site, just click on the sheep icon! The sheep will turn red when a site you’re visiting has previously been reported inaccessible in your country, orange when the site has been reported inaccessible somewhere in the world, and green when it’s accessible everywhere.
As always, contact us with any questions:
contact [at] herdict [dot] org
يمكن لمتكلمي اللغة العربية الاتصال بنا بالكتابة إلى
arabic [at] herdict [dot] org
The team has also been hard at work tweaking the algorithm for the Herdict Web Reporter, a.k.a. Am I blocked or not? making reporting more fun (e.g., fewer dead sites) and more relevant.
Please join us -- and lots of other people around the world -- in participating and helping to build up a live picture of web accessibility around the world. And please help spread the word. Herdict's video mascot, Shep the Sheep, may already speak your language...