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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.