US library associations will launch an online audio collection of some 400 titles to combat the growing censorship of the internet, in what they say is the first step in a long-term campaign to bring greater freedom of speech online.
US-based American Library Associations (ALAs) have been working on the initiative since April.
They say the online collection will be open to anyone who wants to access it.
The goal is to bring together people of diverse perspectives on topics such as culture, politics, technology and science, according to ALAs spokesperson, Michael Smith.
“We are excited to bring these books and listeners together for an all-encompassing conversation, and to bring them to a wider audience,” Smith said.
“This project is part of our ongoing commitment to make the internet a better place to speak, write, and learn.”
In a press release announcing the project, ALAs said it would use the platform to provide a forum for free speech and to support the “rights of all Americans to participate in the digital economy and to participate fully in a democratic society.”
ALAs have previously released an audio collection, titled “The Book of Truth”, in response to the rise of conservative talk radio.
Smith said the ALAs online audio project will be the largest and longest-running digital collection in US history.
“The ALAs is committed to providing a platform for diverse voices to share ideas, opinions and experiences, as well as to engage in public debate,” Smith added.
ALAs are a non-profit organisation, which means it does not receive any money from government, private or corporate sources.
Smith added: “We want to make sure this project goes beyond just an online book, and we hope to get a lot of feedback from people about it, which will be helpful as we build this online library.”
Watchtower Watchtower is a Christian media organisation, with headquarters in the UK.
Watchtower Society is an international organisation with branches in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
Watchtowers beliefs and practices have been criticised for years for its links to extremist groups.
A number of prominent people have been arrested in the past for their alleged links to Watchtower, including former UK Prime Minister Nick Clegg, former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
WATCHTOWELLS PUBLICIST: ‘If we can’t get the right answer, we’re going to get the wrong answer’ The ALAs announcement comes as the UK’s independent watchdog, the Independent Commission Against Corruption, launched an investigation into the Watchtower’s finances and governance.
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