Sure, the U.S. is home to tech giants, media moguls and weird internet memes, but we come in second to Sweden in using the Internet to improve people’s lives.
The World Wide Web Foundation ranked 61 developed countries by criteria like number of broadband connections, political and social impact of the internet and web content available.
The study also points out that the web is a highly underutilized resources with only one in three people with access globally and less than one in six in Africa. See the full report here.
In related news, Sweden made headlines this week for arresting Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, the torrent king and co-founder of The Pirate Bay. Warg was detained in Cambodia on request of the Swedish government.
It started with 9-year-old Martha Payne in Scotland who blogged photos of her school lunches. After the school attempted to censor her site, she received worldwide attention.
Including the attention of a 13-year-old girl, Isadora Faber, in Brazil who was fed up with the poor conditions at her school. Faber created a Facebook page to blog about broken water fountains and a basketball court in disrepair.
Both youth have been incredibly effective in creating changes in their school and redefining what youth journalism can do.
The city of Yekaterinburg, Russia is filled with potholes and politicians who could care less about fixing them. So a group of bloggers hit the streets with spray paint and a little political humor.