The Internet as a Global/Local Site of Contestation: The Case of Iran

In Celikates, R., J. de Kloet, E. Peeren & T. Poell (Eds.) 2017. Global Cultures of Contestation. London: Palgrave MacMillan

18 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2017 Last revised: 8 Jan 2018

See all articles by Mahsa Alimardani

Mahsa Alimardani

Article 19: Global Campaign for Free Expression; University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute

Stefania Milan

University of Amsterdam

Date Written: May 29, 2017

Abstract

This chapter sheds light on the role of the internet as a site of contestation capable of connecting the local and the global dimension of a protest in countries with strict information controls. It takes Iran as an exemplary case for the study of the technology-related protest cultures that emerge at the fringes of a heavily controlled cyberspace. We compare the widespread use of the microblogging platform Twitter and the chat application Telegram, inserting them in a broader geopolitical analysis. We understand Telegram as an emancipatory communication technology (Milan, 2013), to highlight its role in facilitating the exercise of democratic agency during the 2016 Iranian Parliamentary elections. Relying on interview data and desk research, and positioned at the intersection of media studies, science and technology studies and social movement studies, this chapter adds to our understanding of the complex relation between governments and their digital opposition.

Keywords: Iran, Telegram, Twitter, Digital Activism, Information Controls

Suggested Citation

Alimardani, Mahsa and Milan, Stefania, The Internet as a Global/Local Site of Contestation: The Case of Iran (May 29, 2017). In Celikates, R., J. de Kloet, E. Peeren & T. Poell (Eds.) 2017. Global Cultures of Contestation. London: Palgrave MacMillan . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2976414 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2976414

Mahsa Alimardani

Article 19: Global Campaign for Free Expression ( email )

60 Farringdon Road
London, EC1R 1UQ
United Kingdom

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

1 St. Giles
University of Oxford
Oxford OX1 3PG Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

Stefania Milan (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam ( email )

Department of Media Studies
Turfdraagsterpad 9
Amsterdam, 1012 XT
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://mediastudies.nl

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