How to Ignite, or Quash, a Revolution in 140 Characters or Less - Part 1





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Published on Jul 28, 2011

How to Ignite, or Quash, a Revolution in 140 Characters or Less
The Promise and Limitations of New Technologies in Spreading Democracy

Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 2:00pm - 6:00pm

Do the Internet and social media empower Big Brother or individuals in autocratic regimes, or do they offer a rare level playing field?

This year's Arab Spring resurrected exuberant claims for the role of new technologies in spreading democracy. At the same time self-proclaimed "cyber-realists" were quick to point out that President Mubarak's problems seemed to grow after he unplugged the Internet. Now, summer's deadly stalemate in Syria has given pause to anyone peddling absolute theories about the interplay between new information technologies and revolution.

If not a panacea, how can social media and the Internet be deployed to maximize civic engagement in autocratic societies? Does the U.S. policy of supporting Internet freedom amount to a policy of regime change in some countries? When Big Brother does unplug the Internet, what can, or should, the rest of us do about it?

RSVPs for today's event are closed, as we are over capacity. Please watch the live webcast, which will be available on this page, and join the conversation on Twitter: #140rev


2:00 pm - Reflecting on the Tunisian Hair Trigger

Sami Ben Gharbia (from Tunisia)
Co-founder, nawaat.org
Advocacy Director, Global Voices

Steve Coll
New America Foundation

2:20 pm - Internet Freedom and Human Rights: The Obama Administration's Perspective

Michael H. Posner
Assistant Secretary of State for Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
U.S. Department of State

Jacob Weisberg
Chairman and Editor-in-Chief
Slate Group

2:50 pm - Friending Revolutions: Social Media and Political Change in Egypt and Beyond

Merlyna Lim
Professor, Consortium of Science, Policy and Outcomes and the School of Social Transformation - Justice and Social Inquiry Program
Arizona State University

3:10 pm - How the Arab Spring Begat a Deadly Summer

Oula Alrifai
Syrian Youth Activist

Ahmed Al Omran
Blogger, Saudijeans.org

Andrew J. Tabler
Next Generation Fellow, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Author, In the Lion's Den: An Eyewitness Account of Washington's Battle

Katherine Zoepf
Schwartz Fellow, New America Foundation
Contributor, New York Times


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