We are the Citizens
All the Citizens is a non-profit organisation registered as a UK limited company.
The Citizens was set up in the midst of a global pandemic – with a mission to use impact journalism to hold government and big tech to account.
We began with Britain. At the start of the worst pandemic in 100 years, we brought together leading scientists to create a shadow accountability body to challenge the UK government’s response to COVID-19. We forced openness and transparency onto the government by modelling what openness and transparency looks like. We’ve investigated the UK government over its awarding of multi-million pound contracts to political donors and created an open source database to put the information into the public domain. We brought together a cross-party group of MPs and lords to launch a legal case against the government for its refusal to hold an inquiry into Russian interference in our democracy. And in September with one of the most significant US elections for decades approaching, we took our experience of setting up a shadow accountability board in the UK to do the same at an international level. The Real Facebook Oversight Board brought together leading academics with the leaders of the most important civil rights organizations to find surprising and creative ways of holding Facebook to account for its role in spreading hate speech and misinformation which we feared – rightly, it turned out – was helping foment a coup d’etat. All with a tiny team and a handful of volunteers.
We’re the underdog taking on serious power. We do this by destabilizing the current paradigm and opening up the space where innovation and change can happen. We play with convention and upend the normal rules of engagement. We draw upon our media expertise to hijack the news cycle. We use shadow governance to create headlines and demonstrate what public interest accountability should look like. We mash together techniques from investigative journalism, advocacy, advertising, activism, litigation and community building. And we’re barely getting started.