World Day Against Cyber Censorship was first observed on March 12, 2008 at the request of Reporters Without Borders and Amnesty International. A letter written by Jean-Francois Julliard, Secretary-General of Reporters Without Borders, and Larry Cox, Executive Director of Amnesty International, was sent to the Chief Executive Officers of Google, Yahoo!, Inc., and Microsoft Corporation to request observation of the day.
In 2010, the first annual Netizen Prize, sponsored by Google, was awarded to the Iranian women’s rights activists of the Change for Equality website.
The 2011 Netizen Prize was awarded to the Tunisian group blogging site Nawaat.org for their coverage of the Tunisian protests which their national media ignored.
The 2012 Netizen Prize was awarded to Syrian citizen journalists and activists. The media center of the organisation known as Local Coordination Committees collects and disseminates reports, images, and information about the ongoing Syrian uprising. A 27-year-old Syrian activist living in Canada named Jasmine accepted the award on behalf of the people in Syria.