Stop internet censorship: Save Google reader

After several petitions to save Google Reader had massive viral growth on, I was curious why so many people cared about a RSS reader.

Looking at data from our analytics platform, I discovered that 75% of petition signatures came from users outside of the US and 12% of the total lived in countries that have active Internet censorship by government forces.

Using the data and quotes from signers of the petitions we reframed the story from a first-world problem to one that caused real harm to millions of people in Iran, Syria, China, Russia and other countries.

"Here in Kazakhstan, many blog services are banned by government, so Google Reader is one of the easy ways to access banned content. I'm using it every day and I'd be very upset if it's no longer available."

After hundreds of thousands of people signed petitions on and dozens of media stories, Google executives met with the creator of one of the petitions to discuss the global outcry to save Google Reader and how Google could address their concerns.

In October 2013, Google unveiled three new tools to help people living under oppressive regimes gain access to the open internet.