Internet Does Not Necessarily Weaken Authoritarian Regimes

from the of-course-not dept

For a while, it seemed like the conventional wisdom was that a tool like the internet could only help to spread democratic ideals to countries that were run by more oppressive regimes. However, clearly, recent events have proven that false. Now, a new book has come out, showing that the internet doesn’t inherently help spread democracy. It can be useful for getting democratic ideas out there, but at the same time, it’s just as likely to be harnessed by authoritarian regimes for their own purposes (blocking off portions of the internet, spying on citizens, etc). The book, Open Networks, Closed Regimes, shows that (once again) the technology itself is neither good, nor bad. It’s just a tool that can be used for whatever purpose.

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Comments on “Internet Does Not Necessarily Weaken Authoritarian Regimes”

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dorpus says:


The New York Times also had a column a while back about the cesspool of the internet, in which open debate often stirs up more hatred and acrimony than constructive dialogue.

I am a veteran of internet singles chat rooms, and I can tell you that Middle Eastern men are a despised presence there, because they go around indiscriminately soliciting men or women for cybersex. They don’t have sexual freedoms in their own countries, so they cannot handle the internet in a mature way. Then when Americans spurn them, they become all hostile and anti-American. If the internet is supposed to improve intercultural relations, things will get much worse before they get better.

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