Panel: Restricted Networks – Strategies of Survival After Uprising
With Miriyam Auoragh, Philipp Ronnenberg, Ebru Yetiskin
During the Arab revolts in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, access to the Internet and mobile phone networks was restricted to limit peer networking and self-organisation. In Syria Internet censorship is extensive, and websites are banned and network traffic is shut off when the government is under pressure. In the recent uprising in Turkey, many of the protesters complained about the lack of coverage on Turkish television and as a result of this, social media played a key role in keeping people informed. The use of Internet and social media for self-organisation during uprisings has been often discussed, but are such tools the best solution to coordinate interventions? Are they empowering, or are they instead causing major exposure if not used consciously? This panel analyses the role of networking and activism during uprisings in the Middle East, and reflects on the countermeasures adopted against the so-called ‘cyber crime’ during times of conflict. Furthermore, it aims to generate a discussion over the creation of permanent and alternative (social) media outlets.