Seoul (June 23, 2012) — The events of the Arab Spring and other recent social media-fueled democracy movements, as inspirational as they may be, tell only part of the picture, according to Evgeny Morozov, author of The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet. Morozov shared his less rosy view of the Internet’s impact with the East-West Center’s 2012 International Media Conference in Seoul.
Speaking via recorded video and Skype from Belarus, Morozov said that the Internet can be a tool of suppression by authoritarian governments as well as a tool of liberation by empowered citizens. “To be critical of the Internet is necessary. This does not mean dismissing its good, but we should not expect it to be everything,” Morozov said.
He also pointed out that dictators and their regimes can use “sophisticated technology such as data mining to crack down on protestors immediately after a protest” or track photo-sharing sites like Flickr to identify protesters.