Why do states shut down social media platforms? How does that even work? And what impact does this have on political activism and society as a whole? Questions like these are the subject of the interdisciplinary project “Free my Internet! A Graphic Journey from Infrastructure to Shutdowns” by the University of St. Gallen. Officially launched in December 2020, the project broke new ground in knowledge communication by illustrating scientific findings in the form of graphic short stories, thus making them vivid and accessible to a broad audience.
As a result, four illustrated stories have been published that cover issues from the reasons and purposes of internet shutdowns to the role and responsibility of internet service providers. Besides the appealing graphical visualization, every story is accompanied by contextual information, guiding questions and a detailed list of references and literature.
The project is carried out by EDP network member Tina Freyburg, her colleagues Lisa Garbe and Vero Wavre from the University of St. Gallen, as well as the graphic artist Pia Valär. It is supported by an Agora-grant by the Swiss National Fund. All the short stories and further information are available at freemyinternet.info.