The Digital Repression of Social Movements, Protest, and Activism

There is a growing interest in the growth and impact of digital repression on protest and civic engagement globally. Yet this interest has been diffused across Communication, Political Science, Media Studies, Science and Technology Studies, and Sociology creating challenges for generative conversations and building a community of scholars studying the topic. Earl, Maher, and Pan’s recent article “The Digital Repression of Social Movements, Protest, and Activism: a synthetic review” attempts to synthesize these literatures by using a framework that distinguishes between who is responsible, whether it is overt or covert, and whether acts as a carrot (channeling) or a stick (coercion). The essays in this Dialogue are intended to continue this work of building a cross-disciplinary community of scholars interested in questions of digital repression, and to open a conversation about other ways to build this cross-disciplinary community and/or what we still need to build this community. We ask authors to reflect on their own work and their views on community building and/or reflect on what aspects of the framework are helpful, what it misses, and what we still have to learn about how digital repression operates globally.   

We have four outstanding contributors. Many thanks for their contributions on this topic:

We would also like to give special thanks to Thomas V. Maher and Jennifer Earl, who proposed and organized this wonderful dialogue.

Current Editors in Chief,

Rory McVeigh, Chang Liu and Natalie Bourman-Karns

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