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Google Take Action

Mobilizing the internet to defend the internet

The Challenge

In support of a free and open Internet, Blue State partnered with Google for several years on projects around transparency, policy, and freedom of speech.

The Insight

Breaking down a complex issue with easy actions and imaginative storytelling can help rally people around an important cause they might otherwise ignore.

The Solution

Google Take Action became a dynamic global campaign to give a voice to millions around the world who believe in a free and open Internet — and helped defeat the UN proposal that threatened the open web.

When a United Nations proposal threatened free speech on the web, we helped design a responsive site in 23 languages that gave people everywhere a chance to take a stand with just a couple of clicks — by signing a petition, speaking up on social media, or putting their marker on a dynamic map.

A screenshot of the Google Take Action sign up page.

Simplifying the complex

We sat down with Vint Cerf, considered to be one of the “fathers of the Internet,” to create a video that would break down a complicated issue — how IP addresses are managed, and what it means for Internet freedom — in a compelling (and fun) way. Spoiler: rainbows, cats, and animations ahead.

Transparency for all

Every year, Google manages hundreds of thousands of requests for user data and content removal. The Google Transparency Report provides a multifaceted review of these requests and sheds light on how laws and policies affect Internet users and the flow of information online. 

We helped reimagine the look, feel, and format of the Transparency Report, with the ultimate goal of making it accessible to a broader network of supporters. The Safer Email section of the report has led to improved safety by making it easy for customers to advocate for more security.  Thanks to customer demands through this tool, several major email providers quickly cleaned up their acts.

Illustrating censorship

For years, Google wasn’t able to disclose data requests related to issues of national security. We worked with the report’s authors to create telling graphics that illustrate this act of censorship. Today, in response to increasing public pressure on the government, Google is permitted to share these requests publicly.

Nearly three million people made their opposition to the UN treaty known through our platform. In response, 55 countries refused to sign the treaty — just enough support to defeat the measure.