Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1909467
 
 

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Why Net Censorship in Times of Political Unrest Results in More Violent Uprisings: A Social Simulation Experiment on the UK Riots


Antonio A. Casilli


Telecom ParisTech

Paola Tubaro


University of Greenwich; CNRS

August 14, 2011


Abstract:     
Following the 2011 wave of political unrest, going from the Arab Spring to UK riots, the formation of a large consensus around Internet censorship is underway. Beyond all political consideration of consequences in terms of freedom of expression, the present paper adopts a social simulation approach to show that the decision to "regulate" or restrict social media in situations of civil unrest results in higher levels of violence. Building on Epstein's (2002) agent based model, several alternative scenarios are generated. Systemic optimum, represented by complete absence of censorship, not only corresponds to lower levels of violence over time, but allows for significant cant periods of social peace after each outburst.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 17

Keywords: UK riots, Arab Spring, civil violence, Internet censorship, agent-based modelling, social simulation, social media tactical media, flash mobs.

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Date posted: August 16, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Casilli, Antonio A. and Tubaro, Paola, Why Net Censorship in Times of Political Unrest Results in More Violent Uprisings: A Social Simulation Experiment on the UK Riots (August 14, 2011). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1909467 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1909467

Contact Information

Antonio A. Casilli (Contact Author)
Telecom ParisTech ( email )
46 rue Barrault
F-75634 Paris, Cedex 13
France
Paola Tubaro
University of Greenwich ( email )
Park Row, Greenwich
London, SE10 9LS
United Kingdom
HOME PAGE: http://paolatubaro.wordpress.com/
CNRS ( email )
Paris, 75014
France
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