Twit4D
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Twit4D
How Twitter serves (or not) social & political changes
Curated by Elie Levasseur
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How Twitter’s New Policy Rewards Elite Activism by Sarah Kendzior

On Thursday, Twitter announced that it would begin to selectively block tweets on a country by country basis. The decision prompted an immediate outcry from free speech advocates as well as a more measured response from scholars of social media, several of whom praised Twitter’s relative transparency while noting that it has no choice but to comply with the regulations of individual governments.

One of the most passionate defenders of Twitter’s new policy is Zeynep Tufekci, who described it as an “excellent policy which will be helpful to free-speech advocates”. Tufekci sees Twitter’s selective censorship as an improvement over the broad censorship practiced by other internet companies, in which content deemed offensive by one is deleted for all. Under the new guidelines, a tweet deemed inappropriate by the leaders of a particular country will only be censored within that country. To the rest of the world, it will be labeled as “blocked”, a development she describes as “excellent” because it renders state attempts to suppress speech transparent.

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Predictable Surprises: 10 International Crises and Social Media Revolutions You Can Bet on Between Now and 2015 by Philip N. Howard

Predictable Surprises:  10 International Crises and Social Media Revolutions You Can Bet on Between Now and 2015 by Philip N. Howard | Twit4D | Scoop.it

Between now and 2015, there will be some predictable crises in global politics. The most predictable political crises have become the moments in which dictators ask tech-savvy voters to participate in a rigged election. Social media allows people to call out big organized lies, so rigged elections have become sensitive moments in international politics. Since we know these moments are on their way, and both foreign policy makers and journalists act surprised when they arrive, we can call such moments "predictable surprises".

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Central Asia: An Exception to the “Cute Cats” Theory of Internet Revolution by Sarah Kendzior

Zuckerman’s theory is a refreshing alternative to the common caricature of internet users in authoritarian states as revolutionaries in waiting. But it suffers from a fallacy that plagues much of internet scholarship: studies of the effectiveness of the internet in fomenting revolution are usually limited to where the internet was effective, because those successes, by definition, are the ones we know. The “failures” – the many countries where the circulation of evidence of state crimes through social media prompts no change in state practices, and in some cases, dissuades citizens from joining activist causes – tend to go unmentioned. They are, I suspect, more the norm than the exception, and they have proven the rule in former Soviet authoritarian states.
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Twitter in Uzbekistan: Analyzing an Intriguing Surge | EurasiaNet.org

Twitter in Uzbekistan: Analyzing an Intriguing Surge | EurasiaNet.org | Twit4D | Scoop.it
Before you can have a "Twitter revolution" – first, you must have Twitter, and Internet or mobile phone access, of course. With thousands of political and religious dissidents tortured and jailed, and any unauthorized civic activity ruthlessly persecuted, Uzbekistan is very far from a Twitter revolution – or any sort of revolution at all. It may be setting itself up for one in the long run, however, as other dictatorships have found in the Middle East – and an intriguing burst of usage gives an inkling of what may come.
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