Amnesty International has put an ad-blocker at the heart of its new anti-censorship campaign, partnerhing with AdBlock to push its ads to users to mark World Day Against Cyber Censorship.
For 24 hours the ad block firm will uncensor ads related to censorship, a move some in the advertising industry might view as hypocritical.
Gabriel Cubbage, chief executive of AdBlock, said: “Remarkably, there are people in the advertising world who would love to convince you that blocking ads is not only censorship, but an attack on diversity.
“But how is it censorship for an individual person to install an ad blocker (or just a download a simple text file) because they don’t want to see another banner ad promising ‘One Weird Trick To Lose 60 Pounds in 3 Days’?”
He concluded: “We’re showing you Amnesty banners, just for today, because we believe users should be part of the conversation about online privacy. Tomorrow, those spaces will be vacant again. But take a moment to consider that in an increasingly information-driven world, when your right to digital privacy is threatened, so is your right to free expression.”
Instead the banner ads are looking to underline that governments across the world are censoring public speech and the media and are pushing for greater online surveillance.
“Some states are engaged in Orwellian levels of surveillance, particularly targeting the lives and work of the people who defend our human rights – lawyers, journalists and peaceful activists. This continuing development of new methods of repression in reaction to increased connectivity is a major threat to our freedom of expression,” said Amnesty International secretary general Salil Shetty.
Edward Snowden, Ai Wei Wei and Pussy Riot will feature among them.