The Herdict Reporter

Herdict Web offers two ways to report inaccessible web sites. The first is, of course, the Firefox/IE add-on. Of course, you may not want to download an add-on…maybe you’re using a public computer, or maybe you’re just concerned about the software. Whatever the reason, we have a solution: The Herdict Reporter!

The Herdict Reporter is a web-based way of reporting site accessibility to us. When you access the Reporter, you are automatically provided with a site in a frame – if you can see the site, you should report it accessible using the green button to the left. If you can’t, report it inaccessible.

What information does the Herdict Reporter collect?

The Herdict Reporter uses your IP address to automatically populate the country where you are located and the ISP which you are using. Of course, this information could potentially be incorrect, in which case, you can manually type the correct information.

The other information the Reporter hopes to collect is from you. There’s a field to enter your location (e.g. home, work, cyber cafe), tags as they pertain to the site shown (e.g. political, social, news), and any comments you have about the site’s accessibility. You can also view other people’s comments from within the Reporter.

After you have deemed a site inaccessible or accessible, the Reporter will automatically populate with another site from our premade list. You can skip a site at any time if, for whatever reason, you’d prefer not to report it.

Any questions? Please leave a comment and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

About the Author: Jillian York

Jillian C. York is the Project Coordinator for the OpenNet Initiative and the part of the Herdict team that you should contact if you have any questions about other-language instances of the site or international press. She created most of the textual content on the site, so if you spot something funny, let her know! She's also the face behind the @Herdict Twitter feed.

3 Comments to “The Herdict Reporter”

  1. Peter Capek:

    What is the definition, for Herdict purposes, of a site? This is significant because, often, people will make assumptions which don’t hold and reach a wrong conclusion about whether something is accessible. The most common example of this is a site which responds only when the “www.” is at the beginning of the domain part of the URL. Since most sites are forgiving and their domain servers are set up to allow, e.g., as well as, the sites which are not so set up appear to be inaccessible. I tried one of the sites cited in your list of inaccessibles, and it works just fine if you elide the first part of the domain. I’m sure this is a technical issue at Fidelity National Information Services, not a censorship (or even Internet technical) issue. Lastly, if a site itself responds with a message which indicates it doesn’t wish to be accessible “You don’t have permission to access…:), how do you treat this?

    I think this question may require some thought and not have an obvious resolution. Does the goal of the effort include understanding how blocking “services” (such as are used sometimes in public schools and libraries) operate? Censorwalls like the Great Firewall of China? Network routing and connectivity issues?

    I like very much, and support, the goals of the effort.

  2. Jillian C. York:

    Hi Peter,

    Great question – Herdict’s purpose is to provide users with a source to aggregate data on accessibility. Our hope is that such data will prove useful for users to make their own conclusions.

    To be clear, our assumption is not that all of the “inaccessible” sites are censored or filtered (which is why we use the term “inaccessible” to begin with) – we realize that sometimes sites will be inaccessible for other reasons, and we hope to implement solutions soon in order to clarify that for our users.

    Jillian C. York

  3. LOUIS:

    Interesting story: Will definitely come back again!