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'Government Abuse' of the Internet Makes Some People More Equal Than Others, Says Study ( 39

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Washington Post: When the Arab Spring spread across the Middle East and North Africa, the internet was considered to have been one of the main facilitators of the revolutions, and while the Arab Spring has since become a source of frustration to many of those who fought for it, the assumption that the internet will facilitate future uprisings has rarely been questioned. A new study, however, now raises doubts about to what extent the internet plays a role in fostering democracy. In fact, it may make some people more equal than others. To voice discontent online, groups first need access to the internet, but too often, that is precisely what they lack, according to the report which was published by the academic journal Science. Those findings could force Western governments and nongovernmental organizations engaged in pro-democracy initiatives to rethink how they spread their message. Comparing the accessibility of internet in certain regions and taking into account the existence of minority communities, the authors found "a strong and persistent political bias in the allocation of internet coverage across ethnic groups worldwide [...] an effect that cannot be explained by economic or geographic factors." Around 500 minority groups worldwide were included in the study, with consistent findings of what the authors called "digital discrimination." The 10 worst-affected minorities mostly come from Russia and Malaysia, said researcher Nils B. Weidmann.
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'Government Abuse' of the Internet Makes Some People More Equal Than Others, Says Study

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  • Like all uprisings, it was facilitated by high finance.

  • by sittingnut ( 88521 ) <> on Saturday September 17, 2016 @12:03AM (#52905883) Homepage

    western media called so called "arab spring", "twitter revolution", especially the egyptian incarnation.
    they ignored what was really going on(an islamist revolution with mass support against mostly secular dictatorship ) even when truth stared them in the eyes.

    1st signs were the attacks against coptic christians during christmas before the so called spring and dictatorship's inability to control them. but western media ignored them.
    when spring took place, western media high lighted western educated "liberal" individauls , who got aid from western ngos, but totally ignored mass supported islamist parties .
    at demonstrations they somehow diminished reports on attacks( including rape) by same protesters against westerners, including reporters .

    their ignoring of reality was ended only at elections which gave largest share of votes to islamist parties , then to parties allied to dictatorship, while so called western liberal heroes got next to nothing .

    we know what happened next; western governments agreeing to a brutal military overthrow of elected islamist government .

    so much for democracy , "new media" and internet , and revolution!

    • The Egyptian case is interesting but I disagree with most of what you say. The internet gave a false idea of the reality in Egypt because it emphasized the role of the relatively secular middle class , while the majority of the population is poor and religious and not present on the net . That means as soon as you get any form of democracy it will consist of a religious majority. The revolution was not hijacked, it just led to a democratic majority that is not likable. Then there were a few things coming to

      • "they got their chance and threw it away"

        I'm not sure why you would say that. They managed to get rid of a foreign financed 'dictator', the new party was sabotaged materially and legally by the foreign financed army and entrenched administrative powers, protests were staged with music and disco lights for the foreign press and the foreign controlled army took over and basically still have control of the country. How does that mean 'they got their chance and threw it away'.

        • Alright, maybe I'm too harsh, but the opposition supported the coup against the elected government of Morsi. One can rightly say they were being manipulated but I think that's a thin excuse. I think there is not enough trust in democracy in Egypt to make it work. The west is particularly fickle on the matter , in part because we're anti islam, and often antireligious, but if you look at Venezuela , that is also a democracy with a very poor majority, and we can't even perceive of it as a democracy.

          I think th

          • "but the opposition supported the coup against the elected government of Morsi"

            Yes, that makes my point stronger, the opposition were part of the foreign financed supporters of the ousted corrupt 'dictator' Mubarak.

            And by the way, who did you mean by 'they' in 'they got their chance and threw it away", and what did they throw away?

            • I think the opposition is closest to us westerners. It felt it had to choose between two sides that they didn't want.
              On the one side there were the powers behind the old dictatorship, which were mostly still in place, and which had strong foreign backing: oil countries mainly, and Israel, with the US as undecided.
              On the other hand there was a poor and religious majority, which prefers religion to be part of the state.
              Everyone sees religion as political power. We want to minimize the power of religion, we wa

              • "I think If you want any kind of democracy in the middle east it's often going to have a strong religious side, at least in the beginning, and it's better to accept that. I think If you want any kind of democracy in the middle east it's often going to have a strong religious side, at least in the beginning, and it's better to accept that. The egyptian middle class didn't accept that. The egyptian middle class didn't accept that"

                I agree that democracy can mean that "it's often going to have a strong religiou

                • That's what I mean, foreign powers aren't accepting that at all, so all the suffering, deaths, and radicalization in the population is more a result of foreign interventions than a result of what the people are hoping for themselves and their children.

                  Well, it's easy to make the disagreement more than it is. I'd say that in the face of the opposition, internal powers as well as foreign powers, democracy was only going to work if people stuck together and they didn't. The youth groups (Tamarud) did side with

                  • "democracy was only going to work if people stuck together and they didn't"

                    The "people" and "they" ? Foreign financed administration and politicians, foreign financed military, mercenary 'gangs', a part of the middle class, and some atheists ?

                    "And as for what Egyptians are hoping for themselves and their children, I try not to think about it too much. It's too discomforting."

                    That's the real "they". Secular and religious. They want democracy. They got more corruption and death instead because of ...

                    "The oil

  • []
    Think back to past UK and US efforts globally and "United States involvement in regime change" []
    Someone has to print all the stickers, t shirts, protest banners, create a logo, bus in the opposition supporters, support all the articulate, photogenic english speakers for the 24 hour news cycle.
    That takes more than any locals can afford or can do without local police noticing.
    Follow the funding, expatriate civil society efforts, decad
    • The Arab spring is really,really, simple to understand when you strip away the politics and religion, it was a direct result of millions of empty stomachs. The worst drought ever recorded in the 10K years humans have been farming the fertile crescent caused 2 million Syrian farmers to surrender their land to the dustbowl and move into the already overcrowded cities seeking work. That was 2009-2011, severe drought had also occurred in Russia and Oz cutting their harvest in half for several years (2005-2009)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    And this is why handing over internet control to countries like that is such a great idea.
  • Wooden clubs make some people more equal than others.

    Much of the Arab spring seems to have simply been financed by governments looking to make a bunch of money selling weapons.

    It's telling when we always seem to side with the "rebels" and sell them loads of weapons.

  • Which governments are "Pro-Democracy" for anything other than political advantage.

  • "Pro-Democracy" in Egypt is not the same as "Pro-Democracy" in Iowa.

  • I see what you did there.

  • Revolutions always come from the haves, not the have nots.

    The American revolution was the powerful landholders against the powerful government in Whitehall (and was won via lobbying/bribery in London, not on the battlefield). The American civil war was the landed gentry fighting to save their capital (i.e. slaves) against mechanization and increased opposition to slavery in the north.

    The French Revolution was not the revolution of the sans coulottes as it was portrayed -- Danton et all were all well educat

  • Once they have control of an online platform, such as Twitter, Reddit, or the various others that fell in line at Nick Denton's request, they enact and selectively enforce misnamed "civility/anti-harassment policies". The policies are only a way to enable and defend harassment by leftists of approved types, as well as defending the narratives they want in the public (or hidden).

  • As I understand Bell's Theorem, secure quantum Internet encryption requires Inequality.
  • The phrase itself is utter nonsense. Oxymoronic garbage.

    There is equality and there is inequality. If people are denied equal access to the internet, and thereby denied equality in some other respect, then that's it, they are denied equality enjoyed by others. It doesn't make someone else "more equal", that's logically impossible. It doesn't make them "less equal", that's equally impossible.

    How the hell did a satirical phrase invented by Orwell to illustrate the nonsensical outcomes of a broken sy

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell