Christian Long

Evgeny Morozov: How the Net Aids Dictatorships

In TED Talks on April 14, 2010 at 8:09 am

Reflection by KIERSTON R.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Evgeny Morozov:  How the Net Aids Dictatorships

Belarussian columist Evgeny Morozov has certainly done his research on this subject. He brings to the table the controversial idea that the Internet and mass media are actually helping to strengthen dictatorships and other oppressive governments. He talks about the various ways the government uses the Internet to strengthen their rule. Most people seem to assume that Internet and mass media are helping to promote democracy by connecting people and spreading democratic ideas when this may not all ways be the case.

According to Morozov this idea has been kept in the shadows do its dispute amongst government leaders when it should be addressed. However, the controversy dose seem some what logical to me because looking back when a form of mass media was introduced (such as printing press, the type writer ect) it has been used to spread democratic ideas. We fall victim to these to these assumptions (says Morozov) and believe that anyone who loves technology will love democracy. This is, according to Morozov, the wrong way to approach technology.

We must think about the difference in the intended use of the Internet and mass media and what the actual use of the Internet and mass media.

Some governments are using the Internet to obtain information that they would other wise not have access to while others are using the people and resources in the Internet to strengthen their authority and spread their ideas. One thing governments are doing is reaching out to their critics and involving them while keeping them under the impression that they are some how bring down the government. Some take a more harsh approach and accuse all critics of being ‘agents’ of some sort and ‘hiring’ people to comment on blogs and things trough out the Internet to spread the ideas of the government. Both ways are effective and keep the people in power informed as to what is going on in the country.

I can not say that i agree with every thing Mr.Morozov said however, I do believe that this is an issue that should be brought closer to the forefront of our society. Being a county that was founded on the ideas of democracy I believe that we should do every thing we can to promote it and show what good it can do.

By ignoring the issue as we are I think this is only giving the authoritarian governments more power over their people.


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