Over the last decade, the internet emerged as a relatively open, pluralistic source of information for citizens in partly democratic or non-democratic states as governments had traditionally focused on censoring and controlling the established news media. However, in recent years many autocratic regimes have increasingly focused on censoring and controlling access to anti-government online as well as citizen use of social media for political expression and mobilization. As the battle for freedom and openness has moved from traditional media institutions to social media, understanding how citizens perceive and value internet freedom, respond to internet censorship, and their willingness to oppose regime efforts to close the internet is of great importance. Based on survey data collected in Russia, Turkey, and Pakistan we will review some key insights on citizen attitudes and behaviors associated with internet freedom in each country and how public opinion patterns about internet censorship may converge or differ across cases.
This seminar is part of the CGCS Internet Policy Observatory lunchtime series. Click here to learn more about the Internet Policy Observatory.
About the Speaker:
Erik Nisbet is an Associate Professor at The Ohio State University whose research focuses on media and comparative democratization primarily in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.