US president Donald Trump, who gets on Twitter the moment he wakes up, may be social media’s most prominent politician user, but he is hardly the only one. For the past two decades, world leaders have leveraged the power of the internet to communicate with the public. In some nations, digital tools are part of an effort to increase government transparency and accountability. In others, they are a platform for propaganda, censorship and fake news.
The Conversation Global’s series Politics in the Age of Social Media examines the varied ways that governments around the world rely on digital tools to exercise power.… Seguir leyendo »
In Kazakhstan, the power of citizens to resist authoritarianism has been dealt a significant blow. On November 28, two major Kazakh land activists, Max Bokayev and Talgat Ayanov, were sentenced to five years in prison on charges of organising unsanctioned protests and inciting social discord.
Bokayev and Ayanov were arrested following large-scale land protests in the country in April and May. Normally very cautious, in this instance, the regime failed to spot the potential threat of online activism in time, and therefore let protests unfold.
The jailing of the two men shows the government of President Nursultan Nazarbayev well understands that it can no longer underestimate the power of new forms of civic activism.… Seguir leyendo »