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Thank you for your submissions


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Thank you for the 4,800 suggestions you made to The Bobs 2015!

What happens next, you ask? It’ simple really: first comes patience, then comes inspiration.

Starting with the patience: Over the next few weeks our international jury will wade through everything you’ve sent in – all the websites, blogs, projects, media campaigns and initiatives – then compile a list of nominees in all the contest’s categories.

That’s going to take some time. And that’s why we decided to put a pretty cat picture at the top of the page. So that at least there’ll be something cute to look at if the list of finalists isn’t ready. Also, did you know there’s a Cat Theory of Digital Activism?

Get inspired

Once the list of finalists is ready on April 9, we’ll move on to the inspiration. Come back here then to see the list of finalists and check out some of the amazing work being doing around the world. With the help of an English description, a lot of the time you won’t even need to understand the language to get a feeling for a project’s goal or a campaign’s approach to changing the world.

Head to the ballot box

Be sure to give all the finalists a close look, because we’re counting on you to vote for your favorites and give out honors in the People’s Choice categories. You’ll have until May 3 to vote on everything from “People’s Choice for Arabic” to “People’s Choice for Ukrainian” (and the 12 other contest languages in between).

While you’re busy with that, our jury will get together on May 2 in Berlin to decide on the winners of the 2015 Jury Awards in the three multilingual categories. There will be some heady debate but, in the end, when the jury’s votes are counted it’ll be majority rules.

So don’t go anywhere – The Bobs 2015 are just warming up!

April 9 seem like a long way off ? Afraid you’ll forget to check back to see the finalists? We understand – follow us on Twitter and Facebook and we’ll be sure to let you know when the time to vote has come.

Time is running out and we need your submissions!


01-Starting-NOW_Bobs-2015_Milestoneposting_600x240pxThere are only three days left to submit the most interesting and informative blogs, online initiatives and websites to The Bobs! What are the projects that interest you?

We’re looking for the best of online activism – so let us know about the most inspiring projects dealing with education and equality. We also want to know about the social change initiatives you think are making the world a better place. Know of an app or stumbled over a website that’s helping you protect your data and your privacy? What about artistic, cultural and innovative ways of conveying data that keeps the public informed? We want to know about all of them – and are open to suggestions in 14 languages.

In fact, each language will have five creative and extraordinary finalists and we’re counting on you to find the best of the online best around the world.

Get your suggestions in soon – anything that isn’t registered by noon on March 12 (German time) won’t be eligible to win The Bobs 2015. So you’d better hurry.

The Bobs 2014 nominee murdered in Bangladesh


Prominent blogger and author Avijit Roy and his wife, Rafida Ahmed Banna, were attacked on the street in Dhaka by a group of armed Islamists on a crowded sidewalk. Roy suffered from major head wounds and died shortly after the attack during an emergency operation. His wife barely survived the attack.

Roy, an American citizen, was nominated in The Bobs in 2014 in the Best Blog category and known for speaking out against religious extremism. His blog “Mukto-Mona,” or “Free Mind,” was regarded as one of the key platforms and voices for liberal secularism in Bangladesh. The Bobs Bengali jury member, Shahidul Alam said such actions cannot be allowed to continue and posted this picture:

Roy is not the first victim of radical Islamists in Bangladesh. In 2013, atheist blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider was murdered in a similarly brutal fashion. The Bobs 2012 prize winner Asif Mohiuddin was also seriously injured when he was stabbed in January 2013.

The Bobs to join Shihidul Alam’s call. These horrible acts of violence – and other ones like them – against atheists in Bangladesh cannot be allowed to continue.

RIP #AvijitRoy
More information on Avijit Roy

DW Freedom of Speech Award for Raif Badawi


raif_badawi_posting_600x240pxImprisoned blogger Raif Badawi of Saudi Arabia is to receive DW’s first “Freedom of Speech” award. DW is awarding the prize as part of its international online awards “The Bobs.”

“The Deutsche Welle Executive Board decided unanimously in favor of Raif Badawi,” said DW Director General Peter Limbourg. “He stands, in an exemplary way, for the brave and fearless commitment to the human right of freedom of expression. Our award sends a signal and contributes to bringing his fate into the public spotlight. We hope this will increase pressure on those responsible in Saudi Arabia to release Badawi.”

The 31-year-old blogger Raif Badawi was sentenced by Saudi authorities in May 2014 to 1,000 lashes, 10 years in prison and a major fine. The first 50 lashes were administered on January 9.

Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, told Deutsche Welle from Canada: “I am thrilled! The DW Freedom of Speech Award sends a clear message to the Saudi regime. It is a disgrace that Raif is still sitting in prison – especially at a time when Saudi Arabia fights against the ‘Islamic State’ group and its disregard for human rights. I am extremely thankful to Deutsche Welle for its support.”

Prize ceremony at the Global Media Forum

As part of the 11th annual competition The Bobs – Best of Online Activism, Deutsche Welle commends outstanding online activists and projects. This year, DW established the Freedom of Speech Award to honor a person or initiative that promotes freedom of expression in the digital world in an exceptional way.

The winner of the Freedom of Speech Award as well as the winners of The Bobs three jury categories will be recognized on June 23 at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum in Bonn, Germany.

Fearless for freedom of expression

Raif Badawi has fought for freedom of expression in his country for years. The website he created, Free Saudi Liberals, addresses political and societal grievances in Saudi Arabia. He published, for example, a sarcastic article about the religious police and named a major university in his country a den of terrorists. He also wrote about Valentines Day, which is also forbidden in Saudi Arabia. In June 2012, he was again arrested and accused of insulting Islam, religious leaders and politicians. His wife, Ensaf Haidar, fled Saudi Arabia with their three children in 2013 and found political asylum in Canada.