Information Control and Strategic Violence

How governments use censorship and surveillance as part of their violent repressive tactics

Anita Gohdes

Simple access to social media and cell phone has widely been accepted as a positive tool for citizens to voice dissatisfaction with their government and coordinate protest. But why would rulers permit these tools if they merely pose a threat to their own survival? This talk will investigate how a government’s ability to censor and limit the flow of information feeds into its choice of violent responses to protest. I will talk about the conditions under which a government is likely to benefit more from surveilling the free flow of information, and under which conditions it is more likely to benefit from censorship.