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Social Media Warfare to Support Social Causes around the World

Many governments continue to use direct and overt means to repress civil society within their countries. Social media warfare tactics are employed by groups ranging from those seeking improved human rights to those working to overthrow a government. This has put incredible pressure on governments to control social media application access.

Social protest against immigration is becoming widespread in Europe as the influx of refugees from the Middle East continues to disrupt the status quo. Social media is used by those protesting immigration as well as terrorists who have perpetrated horrible attacks against civilians. The famed Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia were in part fueled by social media, or at least the governments of those countries feared as much and they attempted to cripple the use of social media by people they considered dissidents.

Chapter 2, “Civilian Government Use of Social Media to Attack, Defend, or Control,” provides details on the efforts of many countries to quash freedoms of the press and freedoms of dissent and on how the governments work to control access to social media warfare weapons that can be used against them. When control of the Internet and social media is mentioned, many people instantly think of China, Iran, or North Korea. But there are many countries that have laws and can exercise extreme measures when trying to control social media. Some of the worse offending countries are considered friendly toward or allies of the United States. Countries that attempt to control Internet and social media use are listed in Table 7.2.

When journalists were detained by the police during the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, it raised alarm among journalist and those who support freedom of the press and free speech. The Ferguson police may not have even considered that detaining and arresting journalists is one of the ways that oppressive regimes control free speech and thus try to control dissent in their countries. What the

Table 7.2 Countries Known to Control Speech and Internet Content

Afghanistan

Jordan

Saudi Arabia

Algeria

Kazakhstan

Serbia

Angola

Kenya

Seychelles

Austria

Korea

Singapore

Azerbaijan

Democratic People's

Somalia

Bahrain

Republic Korea

South Africa

Bangladesh

Republic of Kuwait

South Sudan

Belarus

Kyrgyz Republic

Sri Lanka

Brazil

Laos

Sudan

Brunei

Lebanon

Suriname

Burma

Libya

Swaziland

Burundi

Madagascar

Syria

Cambodia

Malaysia

Tajikistan

China

Mauritius

Tanzania

Congo, Democratic

Mexico

Thailand

Republic

Montenegro

Turkey

Congo, Republic of

Mozambique

Turkmenistan

Cuba

Nauru

Uganda

Djibouti

Nicaragua

Ukraine

Ecuador

Niger

Ukraine-Crimea

Egypt

Nigeria

United Arab

Equatorial Guinea

Oman

Emirates

Eritrea

Pakistan

Uzbekistan

Ethiopia

Peru

Venezuela

Gambia

Qatar

Vietnam

Indonesia

Romania

Yemen

Iran

Russia

Zambia

Iraq

Rwanda

Zimbabwe

Ferguson police did when they detained journalists is what oppressive regimes do frequently, and that is how they keep news of dissent and civil disobedience under control. Police states often detain, arrest, harass, beat, jail, and execute journalists.

 
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