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Stop Acid Attacks, ‘Razor’s Edge,’ Gershad, Center for Political Beauty win The Bobs 2016

Jury 2016Projects documenting the life-threatening situation faced by secular Bangladeshis, Indian victims of acid attacks, refugees fleeing to Europe and Iranians aiming to go about their daily lives won top honors at the 12th annual The Bobs – Best of Online Activism.

Our congratulations go out the Jury Award winners in this year’s four main, multilingual categories:

  • Social Change: “Stop Acid Attacks” campaign from India
  • Citizen Journalism: Documentary film “Razor’s Edge” from Bangladesh
  • Tech for Good: “Gershad” app from Iran
  • Arts & Culture: “Center for Political Beauty” from Germany

See all the winners here!

Many thanks to all of you for submitting more than 2,300 online activism projects to the competition and for the more than 100,000 votes you cast to determine the User Award winners.

Thanks also go to our jury (follow them on Twitter!) for narrowing the submissions down to a manageable list of just 14 projects in each category and then throwing themselves into the daunting task of evaluating projects in over a dozen languages and decide on the Jury Award winners.

Social change

The Indian project “Stop Acid Attacks” won the jury’s award in the Social Change category. SAA focuses on supporting the women who survive acid attacks and too often find themselves alone and stigmatized because of the taboo surrounding the violence committed against them.

SAA helped establish the Sheroes Hangout, a café run by acid attack survivors, advocates for survivors’ rights, for a law explicitly prohibiting acid attacks and for health care to be provided to survivors.

Citizen Journalism

The Bengali documentary film “Razor’s Edge” won the jury’s award in the Citizen Journalism category. The film examines the life-threatening situation secular bloggers and writers face in Bangladesh and the government’s unwillingness to confront the spree of murders committed by religious extremists that has left four dead in the past five weeks.

Tech for Good

Strict regulations dictate what Iranians, particularly women, are permitted to wear in public and religious police take to the streets to enforce the rules. The smart phone app “Gershad” relies on crowd-sourcing to pinpoint the police’s location and plot it on a map so people can avoid them and go about their daily lives.

Arts and Culture

The German project “Center for Political Beauty” won The Bobs jury award in the Arts and Culture category. The political performance art collective organizes provocative events, including demonstrations to support refugees and protest the export of German weapons.

The four jury award winners will all be invited to an award ceremony at DW’s Global Media Forum in June.

Thank you very much – we’re all looking forward to #thebobs17!


Sedat Ergin wins DW Freedom of Speech Award

Ergin2Our congratulations go to Sedat Ergin, the winner of the second annual DW Freedom of Speech Award on Thursday. The editor-in-chief of the daily “Hurriyet,” Ergin has been on trial since March for allegedly insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Ergin said he was “honored to receive the prize that stands for the preservation of press freedom worldwide.”

DW Director-General Limbourg called Ergin a “worthy prize recipient” and stressed the importance of standing up for freedom of expression.

“We cannot just look the other way and remain silent when journalists, artists and scientists are being systematically intimidated and harassed by authorities,” Limbourg said.

Find out more about Sedat Ergin at

Having problems? We’re on it.

We’re honored that people really want to win The Bobs and are willing to go to great lengths to be among the best in online activism. Unfortunately, as has happened in the past, a few people are also turning to illicit tricks to influence the voting process.

In an effort to avoid manipulation, suspicious votes will show up in the vote total at but will not immediately be tallied for individual candidates. We will evaluate the votes and ensure they were cast in accordance with our rules before adding them to nominees’ totals.

We have also received a few messages from people who have had connection errors while trying to cast votes. We’re looking into this issue and working on a solution. If you are also experiencing problems when you vote, please try again after a few minutes and be sure you have the most recent version of your web browser. You can also send a message to letting us know when and where the problem occurred and what browser and operating system you use.

Thank you for your understanding!

Voting opens for best in online activism at The Bobs

160330_thebobs16_milestoneposting_vote_now_600x240pxAfter receiving over 2,300 nominations for The Bobs 2016, our esteemed jury members have narrowed the field to 126 finalists.

The nominations consist of five finalists for each of the 14 language categories and 14 finalists for each of the four special, multilingual categories: Social Change, Tech for Good, Arts and Culture and Citizen Journalism.

Now we’re handing the reins over to you, the voting public. Polls are now open for you to vote for your favorite website, app, person or project in all The Bobs’ categories.

The top vote-getters will win The Bobs 2016 User Awards. Our jury members will meet in Berlin to determine the winners of this year’s Jury Awards in the four special, multilingual categories.

“We congratulate all of the people and projects who have been nominated for The Bobs 2016. It is an honor to recognize so many selfless and hard-working people toiling on the front lines of social change and freedom of expression,” said Julia Bernstorf, the deputy head of Innovative Programming at Deutsche Welle.

Deutsche Welle and The Bobs have been recognizing people and projects that epitomize our organizations’ ideals of free speech and online activism for the last 12 years.

“There are a number of awards that recognize achievements in freedom of speech, human rights activism, traditional journalism and technology but there’s no other awards program I can think of that has a similar breadth and scope,” said Georgia Popplewell, the English jury member and managing director of Global Voices.

“The flexibility with which The Bobs has shifted and adjusted to accommodate the rapid changes that have taken place in the online space is also something quite special,” she added.

Please remember that you need to log in using one of the services listed on

Follow The Bobs 2016 on Twitter and Facebook for updates as the voting continues.

This year’s Jury Award winners will be invited to a ceremony as part of the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum on June 14 in Bonn, Germany.

Good luck to all the nominees!

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