The 2013 Web Index

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3d text 5The World Wide Web Foundation has just published “The 2013 Web Index.”, the world’s first measure of the Web’s contribution to social, economic and political development in 81 countries.

Sweden tops the annual Web Index country rankings for 2013 followed by Norway, United Kingdom, United States of America and New Zealand. The Philippines has emerged as the highest placed developing country overall.

The Web Index Report reveals that beyond the digital divide, the world faces a growing participation divide, as unequal access to knowledge and speech online denies millions the necessary tools for free and informed participation in democracy. Wealthier groups in most countries are increasingly using the Web and social media to gain knowledge and amplify their voice in public debate, the research suggests. However, groups such as low-­paid workers, smallholder farmers, and women in the developing world are much less likely to be able to access vital information online. Democratization of information and communication flows is further constrained by a global trend towards greater online censorship and surveillance, the report warns.

Key findings from the Web Index 2013 include:

● Targeted censorship of Web content by governments is widespread across the

globe.

● Legal limits on government snooping online urgently need review.

● The Web and social media are leading to real-­world change.

● Rich countries do not necessarily rank highly in the Web Index.

● The rights and priorities of women are poorly served by the Web in the majority of countries researched.

The 2013 index has been enlarged to include 20 new countries. It features an expanded and enhanced data set, particularly in the areas of gender, Open Data, surveillance and security.

Download the full report here.