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Twittering The Tyrants: New Media's Role In Authoritarian Regimes

New media websites like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have opened a window of freedom for people living in closed societies around the world.

Whether by "tweeting" information to their fellow citizens, posting videos online, or publishing non-state-controlled news stories, democracy advocates have embraced new technologies.

With it, they are organizing protests, recruiting others to their cause, exposing corruption, and shining a light on human rights abuses.

When mass protests arose in Iran last summer following a presidential election that many people believed was rigged in favor of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, news of the demonstrations and subsequent bloody government crackdown got out of the country via Facebook and YouTube and Twitter.

Journalists were banned from reporting the events, so Iranians took it upon themselves to tell the world what was going on. The leader of protesters' Green movement, Mir Hossein Musavi, reached his supporters then, and now, via his blog and Facebook.

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Twittering The Tyrants: New Media's Role In Authoritarian Regimes

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