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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1856880
 
 

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Social Media, Human Rights and Political Change


Sarah Joseph


Monash University - Faculty of Law

June 2, 2011

Boston College International & Comparative Law Review, Vol. 35, p. 145, 2012

Abstract:     
This paper examines the role of social media in progressive political change, in light of its use in the Arab Spring uprisings. The concept of social media us explained, before arguments for and against the importance of social media in revolutions (eg those of Malcolm Gladwell and Clay Shirky) are examined. An account of the Arab Spring (to date) is then given, including the apparent role of social media. Evgeny Morozov's arguments are then outlined, including his contentions that social media and the internet can be tools of oppression rather than emancipation, and spreaders of hate and propaganda rather than tolerance and democracy. The US policy on internet freedom is critiqued too. Finally, the role of social media companies, and their accountability and responsibility given their (perhaps inadvertant) role as the facilitators of revolution, is discussed.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 44

Keywords: Social media, political change, Arab Spring, human rights, revolutions, Twitter, Facebook

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Date posted: June 3, 2011 ; Last revised: February 8, 2012

Suggested Citation

Joseph, Sarah, Social Media, Human Rights and Political Change (June 2, 2011). Boston College International & Comparative Law Review, Vol. 35, p. 145, 2012. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1856880 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1856880

Contact Information

Sarah Joseph (Contact Author)
Monash University - Faculty of Law ( email )
Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3800
Australia
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