Ribbon Campaigns
Blue Ribbon The Blue Ribbon Campaign (Free Speech Online)

The Blue Ribbon Campaign is a movement be many people that use the Internet to keep the government from interfering with it. They believe that the Internet should forever be a place free of regulation and a place for the free exchange of knowledge and ideas.

In protest to legislation signed by President Clinton Web pages went black on "Black Thursday." That meant that the background color of the pages was changed to black and blue ribbons placed on the pages to show support for the free speech online movement. As stated on a Yahoo! page regarding the free speech movement: "... President Clinton signed legislation that includes a provision which limits freedom of expression on the Internet" ("Black Thursday").

The Web pages went black for 48 hours on February 8, 1996 in support of the Coalition to Stop Net Censorship. The protest was over the legislation President Clinton signed that would make material that is legal in bookstores and libraries illegal if placed on the Internet. Blue ribbons are used to represent the movement for free speech online. The campaign for free speech on the Web is backed by companies such as Netscape Communications, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and other civil liberty groups and individuals ("Black Thursday"). "Congress has prepared to turn the Internet from one of the greatest resources of cultural, social, and scientific information, into the online equivalent of the child's reading room," the EFF said ("Blue Ribbon Campaign for Online Free Speech"). There has been many things done to stop the censorship of the Internet.

  • Complete list of pages that went black

    It must be remembered, though, that the large support for the Blue Ribbon Campaign is often exaggerated by the fact that pro-CDA supporters are often ostracized online and have their e-mail accounts bombarded with harassing letters and explicit material. Web page owner Dave-O states that, "Many of the people with black pages and blue ribbons have gotten their information from anti-CDA propaganda." ("Why isn't this page Black?")

    White Ribbon White Ribbon Campaign (Responsibility in Free Speech)

    This is the White Ribbon Campaign for Responsible Speech Online. The white ribbon also symbolizes peace in North Ireland and the Pro-Life movement, but here we only discuss the Internet White Ribbon Campaign.

    The White Ribbon Campaign is a campaign that is dedicated to the responsible speech online. They still want to have free speech online, but they want some regulations to remove the "smut" (referring to indecent material) from the Internet. They believe that the Internet should be a place for the free exchange of knowledge and ideas but in a more responsible way ("Speak Responsibly").

    Compared to the other movements, the White Ribbon Campaign is relatively small. Its message is to restrict the unnecessary explicit material on the WWW with personal responsibility. This movement is very similar to the Green Ribbon Campaign.

    Green Ribbon Green Ribbon Campaign (Responsibility in Free Speech)

    The Green Ribbon Movement, started by the Zondervan Publishing House, is for responsibility in free speech. They do not say that they are anti-blue ribbon, but their beliefs do differ from the Blue Ribbon Campaign's. (They are also supported by the Blue Ribbon Campaign). The Green Ribbon Campaign is a hybrid of both the White and the Blue Ribbon Campaigns that started independently. It wants the free speech pushed for in the Blue Ribbon Campaign, but also wants the responsibility by the users from the White Ribbon Campaign.

    As stated by the Zondervan Publishing House Web site:

    If you agree that the true right of free speech is accurately carried out when self-restraint is responsibly exercised, please display the Green Ribbon for Responsibility in Free Speech on your Web site. Thank you. (n.p.)

    The Zondervan Publishing House also believes that the best way to express yourself freely on the Internet is through self-restraint and responsiblity. They state that:

    The advent of the Internet has seen a staggering growth in the potential for the freedom of speech and expression to people throughout the world. Sadly, in some quarters, this same freedom is being abused and used irresponsibly as a smoke screen to communicate in a vulgar, profane, violent, and insulting manner. (n.p.)


    Restrictions to Freedom of Speech Online
    Logo Ben Chen (Web/e-mail)
    Chang Choi (e-mail)
    kwc (Web/e-mail)
    Ashish Koul (e-mail)
    Copyright © 1997 B. Chen, et al.
    All rights reserved.