Information and Communication Technologies, Protests, and Censorship
57 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2017 Last revised: 22 Aug 2019
Date Written: August 20, 2019
We develop a theory of information flows and political regime change, when citizens use information and communication technologies (ICTs) for both information acquisition and protest coordination. Governments can respond by obfuscation of citizens' signal or by restricting access to ICTs used for coordination. We find that introduction of communication technologies lowers the probability of regime survival, but this effect is weaker in economies that do not use ICTs for production. We also expect less competent governments to use coordination censorship, though this effect is weaker in economies that use ICTs extensively. Some high-frequency empirical evidence is consistent with our predictions.
Keywords: censorship, ICTs, revolution, regime change, global games, DDoS
JEL Classification: D7, D8
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation