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Announcing AccessCheck

Track website accessibility around the world

Screenshot from AccessCheck

The Internet Monitor project at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is excited to announce the launch of AccessCheck. AccessCheck is a tool that allows people to test the accessibility of websites in over 50 countries around the world in real time. This is the first time that such a tool has been available with a broad range of consistent data with disclosed methodologies.

AccessCheck is powered by our own data as well as the open data generated by our partners, OONI and ICLab.

We’ve begun a limited release of the tool for registered users. If you’re interested in signing up and providing some feedback -- and we hope you are -- read on.
 

How to use AccessCheck

AccessCheck lets users enter a URL and choose one of over 50 countries in which to run a test. Clicking the “check accessibility” button returns a test results page with a thumbs up/down notification indicating whether the site is available or unavailable in that country, as well as a real-time screenshot and more detailed data on status codes, connection timings, and any errors encountered.

Requesting a test for a website/country pair will return the results of tests that have been run by users in the past. If recent data does not exist, the test will be added to the test queue, which executes tests in the order they are received. Tests, regardless of age, can be retested to obtain new accessibility data.

Screenshot from AccessCheck

Data sources

AccessCheck combines data from virtual private network endpoints, virtual private servers, and from measurements collected by the Information Controls Lab (ICLab) and by the Open Observatory of Network Interference’s (OONI) OONI Probe.

Who can use AccessCheck

This tool is intended to inform and support the efforts of those engaged in related public interest work, including journalists, academic researchers, and civil society organizations. 

Near-real time test results are available to all users of the tool. Unregistered users of AccessCheck will be able to see the results of previous tests run by authenticated users, and verified users who are signed into their accounts can run new tests.

Help improve AccessCheck

Are the automated test results accurate, according to your own knowledge of internet filtering in countries around the world? Are there ways we can improve the interface to make the results easier to access and understand? Instructions on how to submit feedback can be found on AccessCheck’s About page, or you can email feedback to info@thenetmonitor.org.

Screenshot from AccessCheck

(header image via pexels)

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Internet Monitor's aim is to evaluate, describe, and summarize the means, mechanisms, and extent of Internet content controls and Internet activity around the world. More