Life in the Digital Age: Measuring Global Sentiment Towards Life Online

As the world becomes smaller, and so much of people’s lives transpire online it is important to understand how people across the globe perceive the Internet and its impact on human rights. In order to truly comprehend how citizens around the world perceive and act online, RIWI partnered with Dutch media organization RNW Media, and leader in the global campaign for digital rights Access Now to conduct the second annual Global Internet Sentiment Survey (GISS).

RIWI engaged nearly 50,000 Web users in 10 countries (Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Libya, Nigeria, Russia, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen), with a particular focus on countries where censorship often limits citizens ability to have their opinions and voices heard. Respondents were asked questions on a variety of Internet-related topics such as trust in platforms capturing personal data, perceptions of safety online, and it’s capacity to be an agent of positive social change. The findings were showcased at RightsCon 2019 in Tunis where activists and key stakeholders in the digital rights space assembled to discuss actions to improve people’s livelihoods in spite of the benefits and challenges digitization brings.

RIWI capabilities supplemented the work already being done by RNW Media in 7 of the 10 countries, engaging young people in discussing issues affecting their lives. The results of the GISS illustrate the vital importance of the Internet to people around the world with the majority of them agreeing that Internet access is a fundamental right. Conversely, almost half of GISS respondents report not feeling safe online yet don’t take any safety precautions online. This paradox highlights the need to address the importance of digital literacy, something that will now be incorporated in RNW programs to create safe inclusive online communities.

See more on the GISS in RNW Media’s analysis of key findings, here.