9 min

What the authoritarian crackdown on social media means for global activism Marketplace Tech

    • Technology

It’s been more than a decade since the revolution that came to be known as the Arab Spring, when protesters across the Middle East challenged — and in some cases overthrew — authoritarian governments. Social media played a central role in helping activists organize and build support. Now, autocratic leaders around the world have been stifling dissent on these platforms or banning them altogether. Russia, China, India and Nigeria are some recent examples. Could social media play the same role today that it did in 2010? Marketplace’s Amy Scott speaks with Philip Howard, a professor of sociology, information and international affairs at Oxford University.

It’s been more than a decade since the revolution that came to be known as the Arab Spring, when protesters across the Middle East challenged — and in some cases overthrew — authoritarian governments. Social media played a central role in helping activists organize and build support. Now, autocratic leaders around the world have been stifling dissent on these platforms or banning them altogether. Russia, China, India and Nigeria are some recent examples. Could social media play the same role today that it did in 2010? Marketplace’s Amy Scott speaks with Philip Howard, a professor of sociology, information and international affairs at Oxford University.

9 min

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