Ikhwanweb :: The Muslim Brotherhood Official English Website

Tue109 2018

Last update19:14 PM GMT

Back to Homepage
Font Size : 12 point 14 point 16 point 18 point
:: Issues > Other Issues
Internet Activism: The Problem with ‘Techno-Utopianism’
Internet Activism: The Problem with ‘Techno-Utopianism’
Evgeny Morozov, a Yahoo! fellow at Georgetown University and contributing editor to Foreign Policy, penned a Wall Street Journal essay over the weekend challenging many commonly held conceptions about the Internet’s impact on revolutions and democratization.
Tuesday, February 23,2010 16:05
by Chanan pomed.org

 

Evgeny Morozov, a Yahoo! fellow at Georgetown University and contributing editor to Foreign Policy, penned a Wall Street Journal essay over the weekend challenging many commonly held conceptions about the Internet’s impact on revolutions and democratization.

At the outset of the piece, he explains: “The belief that free and unfettered access to information, combined with new tools of mobilization afforded by blogs and social networks, leads to the opening up of authoritarian societies and their eventual democratization now forms one of the pillars of ‘techno-utopianism.’ He laments the recent obsession by DC-based politicians and pundits with social media tools, such as Twitter and Facebook, and wonders whether this fascination is a “mere sign of our desperation with other, more conventional instruments of diplomatic leverage.”

The unfortunate reality, Morozov contends, is that this new medium will not likely lead to waves of mass democratization. He focuses on recent events in Iran as an example, explaining that revolutionary upheavals of authoritarian regimes require strong degrees of centralization, which the Internet does not provide. “Iran’s Green Movement has been split into so many competing debate chambers,” he writes, “that it couldn’t collect itself on the eve of the 31st anniversary of the Islamic revolution.” The Iranian government, like other autocratic regimes, also learned to exploit the Internet’s utility to suit its own means, by squashing online dissent, blocking basic communication and using the Internet as a surveillance tool.

Citing groups such as Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood, he also states that “Facebook and Twitter empower all groups - not just the pro-Western groups that we like.”

Nonetheless, despite the inherent challenges, Morozov still believes that “it would be unreasonable for the American government to simply abandon all efforts to use the Internet for promoting democracy abroad.” One example he provides is the necessity to stop preventing U.S. tech companies, which currently require a “host of waivers from the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to exports Internet services to authoritarian countries.” Such blanket sanctions, Morozov argues, impede productive support for groups like the Green Movement. Rather, resolving these “arcane policy disputes is likely to advance American interests abroad more effectively than the flashy and media-friendly undertakings… of which American diplomats have grown so increasingly fond.”

Source

tags: Blogs / MB Bloggers / Egyptian Bloggers / Facebook / Internet / Iran / Internet Activists / Blocking Websites / Hezbollah / Moderate Muslim Brotherhood
Posted in Other Issues  
Add Comment Send to Friend Print
Mind war Fsiekonomi.Multiply.Com
We are living in a world where mind war is happening indeed. And internet activism is one effective weapon for that.
Thursday, February 25,2010 01:18
Related Articles
HRW to Libya: Stop blocking websites
Egypt's Opposition Party Turns to Facebook for Support
The Facebook Revolution
EGYPT: Thanks to Facebook, Young Women Take to Political Activism
Showing Its Twitter Envy, Facebook Gets Serious About SMS
Yes, It Is Bread We Fight For, But We Fight for Facebook Too
Internet-inspired activism of Middle East’s Generation Facebook
Facebook launches Arabic version
Facebook under attack
Revolution, Facebook-Style
Facebook As a Platform for Anti-Establishment Protests in Egypt
Revolution, Facebook-Style
The Middle East’s Generation Facebook
Can Facebook Defeat Terrorism?
The Middle East’s Generation Facebook
Cairo Activists Use Facebook to Rattle Regime
MB, Kefaya Launch Facebook Campaign Against NDP Conference
Revolutions Without Revolutionaries? Network Theory, Facebook, and the Egyptian Blogosphere
Islam Vs. Secularism on Facebook
Facebook reflects struggle over Islam’s role
Mapping web censorship
Egyptian Regime Blocks Opposition Websites, Weblogs
State of Journalism in The Arab World
A strike against press freedom in Egypt
Blocking Websites in Egypt: Attempt To Silence Opposition