The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2/28/2012
  • Publisher: PERSEUS BOOKS
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“The revolution will be Twittered!” declared journalist Andrew Sullivan after protests erupted in Iran in June 2009. Yet for all the talk about the democratizing power of the Internet, regimes in Iran and China are as stable and repressive as ever. In fact, authoritarian governments are effectively using the Internet to suppress free speech, hone their surveillance techniques, disseminate cutting-edge propaganda, and pacify their populations with digital entertainment. Could the recent Western obsession with promoting democracy by digital means backfire? In this spirited book, journalist and social commentator Evgeny Morozov shows that by falling for the supposedly democratizing nature of the Internet, Western do-gooders may have missed how it also entrenches dictators, threatens dissidents, and makes it harder-not easier-to promote democracy. Buzzwords like “21st-century statecraft” sound good in PowerPoint presentations, but the reality is that “digital diplomacy” requires just as much oversight and consideration as any other kind of diplomacy. Marshaling compelling evidence, Morozov shows why we must stop thinking of the Internet and social media as inherently liberating and why ambitious and seemingly noble initiatives like the promotion of “Internet freedom” might have disastrous implications for the future of democracy as a whole.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. ix
The Google Doctrinep. 1
Texting Like It's 1989p. 33
Orwell's Favorite Lolcatp. 57
Censors and Sensibilitiesp. 85
Hugo Chavez Would Like to Welcome You to the Spinternetp. 113
Why the KGB Wants You to Join Facebookp. 143
Why Kierkegaard Hates Slacktivismp. 179
Open Networks, Narrow Minds: Cultural Contradictions of Internet Freedomp. 205
Internet Freedoms and Their Consequencesp. 245
Making History (More Than a Browser Menu)p. 275
The Wicked Fixp. 301
Afterword to the Paperback Editionp. 321
Acknowledgmentsp. 341
Bibliographyp. 345
Indexp. 415
About the Authorp. 429
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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