Written by chihao. Contributors of g0v started various discussions on international community affairs in late 2018, after the g0v Summit that year and other governance-related conversations some months before that. Like many things in g0v, these efforts to engage with international organisations and people were largely self-initiated. No permission was required since none could be given. However, unlike many things in g0v, there are little to no public records of these activities, such as correspondence, meetings notes, or slide decks. Open collaboration becomes very difficult, if not impossible, without shared documentation of these activities. Also, unlike many things in g0v, some were paid for their role in these international activities. Discrepancies between a paid full-time job and part-time volunteering work further exacerbate the difficulties.
Can g0v Be Replicated Abroad?
Written by Sam Robbins. The best answer is thus that g0v could be replicated abroad, but it should not be. G0v is unique in the specific ways it approaches problems but thoroughly un-unique in being a group of activists dedicated to solving problems. We cannot forget the second part of this when we reflect on the first part. How activists come together to work towards a common goal depends deeply on political contexts. Tech and civil society can collide in a range of different forms. A look at the Association for Progressive Communication (APC) members, a global network of civil society groups promoting equality through information and communications technology, also reveals that many groups are already engaging with digital technology as a liberating tool.
The Bot Fighting Disinformation: The Story of Cofacts
Written by Billion Lee. Disinformation affects everyone, but everyone can become part of the solution. This is a simple idea that powers Cofacts and many other g0v projects. Although Cofacts has had experts contribute and have worked with other organisations, the fact-checking process is open to all. Disinformation breeds distrust and polarisation, but collaborative fact-checking breeds trust and collaboration. When governments get too involved in fighting disinformation, it can look like an infringement on free speech. That is why it is so important for civil society groups to get involved. The process can be slow: disinformation spreads earlier than fact-checking, but just like the tortoise and the hare, our strength lies not in our speed but our innovation and resilience. Cofacts is fighting the long fight, and it is only possible by creating a structure that is open to anyone and for everyone.
Labours of g0v: Rethinking Work from the Perspective of Data Activists
Written by Aaron Su. How does such civic tech activism – whose results have indeed been transformative – proceed amidst limited resources and a wide variety of training and vocations? Beyond the material outputs of g0v, we must also not forget what activists and scholars have had to say about the distribution of infrastructural or emotional labour within grassroots or activist communities. There are members whose caretaking, organizing, and managing help to reproduce the bare conditions for activist work in the first place. Others have further written about the particular costs of serving as a digital activist, noting that such practices often intensify demands on members in ways inflected by class background, gender, and other social factors.
A Hub for Flexibility and Innovation. My Experiences with the g0v Community
Written by Peter Cui. All projects above were born by the participant under the environment of flexibility, diversity, and vitality. In recent years, we have started a series of works under the project “sch001” to promote the open-source value and g0v society to the students at colleges and senior high schools in Taiwan. I am deeply persuaded that with more younger participants joining the organisation, more possibilities will come true in the next ten years of g0v society.
Let’s Stop Calling Taiwan a “Digital Democracy” (And Start Telling Better Digital Stories)
Written by Sam Robbins. This is what is at stake with how we tell digital stories: If we focus only on the tech itself and its impressive uses, we risk leaving most citizens feeling like they have no voice on the matter due to a lack of expertise. When we tell stories of civil society collaboration, of how governments are interacting with citizens, and of policies whose ramifications are much greater than the new data they create, we can start to create a space for greater public participation on these subjects.