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Wired proposes Nobel Peace Prize for Internet

Wired magazine proposes that Internet be given Nobel Peace Prize for 2010.
So what do you think? Please vote here.

Does Internet deserve Nobel Peace Prize 2010?

Here is the complete article by Wired magazine:

By Lewis Wallace November 20, 2009

1:00 pm
Categories: internet

The internet has clearly been a boon for news junkies, LOLcats and the makers of goofball videos. But it’s also proven to be a powerful international force for peace. That’s the message of Internet for Peace, a campaign launched this week by Wired Italy to nominate the net for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.

“The internet can be considered the first weapon of mass construction, which we can deploy to destroy hate and conflict and to propagate peace and democracy,” said Riccardo Luna, editor-in-chief of the Italian edition of Wired magazine. “What happened in Iran after the latest election, and the role the web played in spreading information that would otherwise have been censored, are only the newest examples of how the internet can become a weapon of global hope.”

Those wishing to sign the petition nominating the net can do so on the just-launched Internet for Peace website. The site will include a planisphere that scrolls down the names and countries, in real time, of all those supporting the initiative. Early backers include 2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi, professor Umberto Veronesi and stylist Giorgio Armani.

The Internet for Peace manifesto will be translated into multiple languages.

Images courtesy Internet for Peace

Ebadi, the first Iranian Muslim woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, said the internet’s free-speech power outweighs any negative use of the international network.

Iranian human rights activist Shirin Ebadi is first to sign on for the Internet for Peace initiative.

Photo: Shahram Sharif/Wikipedia

“The internet can be also used to fuel war and terrorism, as Taliban proselytism clearly shows,” she told Wired Italy. “The spreading of the news about the Tehran riots, however — that raced at a pace of 220,000 tweets per hour — was way too overwhelming to make us doubt that it would have been possible without the internet. It is not a coincidence that during the first trials against the protesters, the attorney general accused Google, Facebook and Twitter of conspiring against the establishment.”

The Internet for Peace manifesto, which will be translated into more than a dozen languages on the Internet for Peace site, outlines the reasons for the nomination:

We have finally realized that the internet is much more than a network of computers. It is an endless web of people. Men and women from every corner of the globe are connecting to one another, thanks to the biggest social interface ever known to humanity.

Digital culture has laid the foundations for a new kind of society. And this society is advancing dialogue, debate and consensus through communication. Because democracy has always flourished where there is openness, acceptance, discussion and participation. And contact with others has always been the most effective antidote against hatred and conflict.

That’s why the internet is a tool for peace. That’s why anyone who uses it can sow the seeds of nonviolence. And that’s why the next Nobel Peace Prize should go to the net. A Nobel for each and every one of us.

Wired Italy will promote the initiative in each issue through September 2010, telling the stories of “those who — thanks to the web — have tried and still try to give peace a chance.” Current TV will produce videos about the stories for U.S., British and Italian audiences.

The Internet for Peace project was announced Friday during the Science for Peace conference organized by the Umberto Veronesi Foundation. “Should the web win the Nobel, we would demonstrate two things to future observers: That we had grasped the importance of the global revolution represented by the internet, and that we were determined to channel its power in the right direction, to make the most out of it in the interest of mankind,” Veronesi writes in the December issue of Wired Italy.

The project will also be backed by the U.S. and British editions of Wired magazine.

“People want peace, and when given a voice, they’ll work tirelessly for it,” said Wired U.S. Editor-in-Chief Chris Anderson. “In the short term, a Twitter account may be no match for an AK-47, but in the long term the keyboard is mightier than the sword.”

Wired British Editor-in-Chief David Rowan called the internet “the strongest transforming force of the modern era.”

“It gave all of us the chance to take back the power from governments and multinationals,” Rowan said. “It made the world a totally transparent place.”

Many companies have already accepted Wired Italy’s invitation to support the nomination of the internet for the Nobel Peace Prize. Sony Ericsson, Tiscali, Fineco, Fastweb, Microsoft Italy, Telecom Italia, Unendo Energia, Vodafone Italy, Citroën and H3G have created 10 different creative pages to support Internet for Peace, to be published in Wired’s December issue.

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