Woman and child walking through village in ruin

The Digital Documentary

Voices from Syria shares untold stories from women who have escaped conflict. Women affected by violent extremism face victimization, but they are also survivors, leaders and activists with the ability to speak directly about their experiences. In 2016, an all-female film crew set out to connect with them and help to raise their voices online. Visit aswat.me to hear them.

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Logo for Create 2016 Event

Thinking Together

Create space for a small group of experts to develop solutions, tools, and partnerships to support users in sensitive digital space. The Digital Public Square project hosted Create 2016 from March 15-16, 2016 at the Campbell Conference Facility at the University of Toronto. Over two days, thought leaders and practitioners on digital innovation, political accountability, human rights, and internet freedom worked together to generate innovated solutions to problems posed by regional experts.

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Image of all the food platform mascots, themed after various foods popular in China

A Game on Food Safety in China

520baozi.com – “What’s in the bun?” – a micro-game focused on helping users test how savvy they are when it comes to food safety – learning about important food safety incidents, and dispelling false food scandal rumours. Host a follow-up  anonymous Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) with food safety experts to give players an opportunity to ask specific questions on food related worries, and further generate interest in the issue areas.

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Voices from the Middle East


We asked 30,000 people across the Middle East about issues that impact women. Do you know what they said? Find out at aswat.me. A site that features one of the largest anonymous digital surveys of women’s voices from across the MENA region – over 10,000 women – to open discussion on critical issues such as education, mobilty, and work outside the home.

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Youth Dialogue Logo

Connect Iranian Youth

We hosted interactive dialogues in 2014 around the world to address topics that specifically matter to Iranian youth. Those topics were chosen by polling more than 19,000 young people anonymously from inside Iran. Experts, thought-leaders, media and entrepreneurs from the international Iranian community joined together virtually with youth inside Iran to share their views on pressing issues that matter to young people.

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Photo of a skyline in Iran with GDFI treatment

Creating a Space for Dialogue Among Iranians on their Country's Future

Iran’s 2013 presidential elections were an unprecedented opportunity to bypass restrictive internet controls and enable open space for dialogue amongst Iranian citizens. Iran was charged for vibrant debate. Toronto, and Canada more broadly, is home to one of the largest communities of Iranian diaspora in the world. And the Munk School had a history of developing the kinds of technologies capable of opening access to a new digital public square for Iranians—both inside and outside Iran.

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Improving Your Online Security Now

All of us need to develop habits that promote personal safety online. We developed a new kind of digital security guide that focuses on providing clear, easy to understand information for everyday users who are interested in learning about digital hygiene.

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Iran's First Promise-Tracker

A platform that connects users with research and fact-checking on the commitments of President Hassan Rouhani, with verification via crowd-sourcing from inside Iran – helping users freely access information on campaign promises.

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Picture of Iranian Parliament

Iran's First Parliamentary Monitor

A platform that connects users with research on the commitments and actions of Iranian MPs, with verification via crowd-sourcing from inside Iran – helping users freely access easy to understand information about their parliament.

How It Works
Picture of Azadi Tower in Iran

Digitally Monitoring the 2013 Iranian Presidential Election

Live observation of the 2013 Iranian Presidential election, accessible in Iran through the use of circumvention technology, combined with a platform that enabled Iranians in the country to report electoral violations. This included a wide variety of educational materials on the electoral process, helping citizens hold their government more accountable.

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Collage of Psiphon photos with pixel treatment

Towards a More Open Internet

We actively support new methods of tackling internet censorship worldwide. Partnering with Psiphon, the Digital Public Square funds research that connects citizens from over 200 countries worldwide to the open internet.

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Photo of Russian newsroom

What Russians Say About Media

Digital Public Square connected with over 50,000 Russian citizens in October and November 2015. We asked them to share their views, anonymously, several issues, including their beliefs about media, their confidence in various institutions, their political views, and their preferences for current media sources.

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Data analysis

Understanding Public Discussion

We built a social data analysis platform to support the Digital Public Square’s work helping at risk digital citizens. The platform performs three specific support tasks, including: real-time project activities analysis, research, and measurement and evaluation of project effects.

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First ever automated trend analysis platform for Farsi speakers online

Helping users access trending coverage of national events and popular news, providing unrestricted dissemination of 50 trending topics refreshed live hourly- filling a critical gap for access to the latest conversations around news and information being shared by Iranians.

How It Works