Turning the Virtual Tables: Government Strategies for Addressing Online Opposition with an Application to Russia

Sergey Sanovich, Denis Stukal, Joshua A. Tucker
2018 Comparative politics  
We introduce a novel classification of strategies employed by autocrats to combat hostile activity on the web and in social media in particular. Our classification looks at these options from the point of view of the end internet user and distinguishes both online from offline response and exerting control from engaging in opinion formation. For each of the three options -offline action, infrastructure regulation and online engagement -we provide a detailed account for the evolution of Russian
more » ... overnment strategy since 2000. In addition, for online engagement option we construct the tools for detecting such activity on Twitter and test them on a large dataset of politically relevant Twitter data from * Corresponding author: sanovich@nyu.edu. 1 Russia, gathered over the period of nine month in 2014. We make preliminary conclusions about the factors of internet policy choice in non-democracies.
doi:10.5129/001041518822704890 fatcat:654aym5tunggnkqhmhznjqxydu