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Networked Authoritarianism in Azerbaijan: How the Azerbaijanigovernment uses the Internet to deter dissentKaty PearceAssis...
12345INTRODUCTIONTHE PLAYERSOPPOSITION INTERNET EFFORTSGOVERNMENT INTERNET ACTIVITIESWHAT’S THE ROI?Outline
INTRODUCTION01
• Azerbaijan has a unique way of managing theInternet, by leaving the Internet “open”…• It can claim that there is freedom...
• 9 million people• Majority Shia Muslim• 99% literacy• Per capita GDP USD 10,000• Oil wealthAZERBAIJAN
AUTHORITARIANISM IN AZERBAIJAN- Father and sonpresidential legacy- Suppression of civilliberties- Little freedom ofexpress...
• World has changed.• Performance of democratic attitudes.AUTHORITARIANISM AIN’TWHAT IT USED TO BE
THUS AZERBAIJAN CARES ABOUT ITSGLOBAL IMAGE (A LITTLE)Why?Because Azerbaijan wantsto be seen (by internalaudience) as impo...
THE INTERNET IS THE ONLY SPACE FOR FREE EXPRESSION IN AZERBAIJAN
BUTNot many Azerbaijanis areonline6%14%22%33%4% 4%7%11%9%12%20%24%0%10%20%30%40%50%2009 2010 2011 2012Daily Internet users...
Azerbaijan can easily lieabout Internet penetrationrates.Moreover
WHAT AREAZERBAIJANISDOING ONLINE?15%8%13%10%4%6%Searching for informationFacebook (raw number = 941,554 adults)EmailMusic ...
THE PLAYERS02
Some of those 11%-27% of Azerbaijanis are up for grabs.And as more Azerbaijanis get online, they will be up forgrabs as we...
The Government
President169,959Policy decisionsPR social mediateamFirst Lady66,639 + 14,293Daughters123,000 + 2422Pro-government youth5,1...
The Opposition
Collective and Connective ActionNetworksConnectiveAction• Self organizing networks• Little or no organizationalcoordinatio...
Collective and Connective ActionNetworks in AzerbaijanConnectiveAction• Self organizing networks• Outside of the formalopp...
1649 5420 6249 7577 8000 913911353 12524 1367916821 18000229277000078293E D C F G I B K L J G A N OFacebook Audience Size ...
Takeaways• Government is a hierarchical structure• Many followers, but entirely for informationdissemination, little inter...
OPPOSITION INTERNET EFFORTS03
11/11/2012 5/1/2013Dec-12 Jan-13 Feb-13 Mar-13 Apr-13Jan-13LARGEUNSANCTIONED PROTESTFeb-13LARGEUNSANCTIONED PROTESTMar-13O...
Connective Action - Self Organizing
Real
10,500 AZNUS$13,000
GOVERNMENT INTERNETACTIVITIES04
This is a “middle path” between open accessand censorship.The Azerbaijani government claims that "thereis Internet freedom...
CONTENT CONTROLS THAT REDUCE “INTERNET FREEDOM”Internet filteringPolicing cyber cafesFIRST GENERATION SECOND GENERATION TH...
FIRST GENERATIONPornography is filteredOccasionally during elections there is greater filteringRecent blocking efforts and...
SECOND GENERATIONOffline laws apply to the online space – including defamationPublicizing opinions that instigate extremis...
THIRD GENERATIONTHE MOST COMMON FORM INAZERBAIJANSurveillanceState-sponsored informationcampaignsTrollingOnline cult of pe...
Real• Activists report having printed Facebook privatemessaging transcripts handed to them while inpolice custody• Logins ...
• Azerbaijani government-controlled medialinks social media use with• Mental illness• Family tragedies• Criminal incidents...
TROLLINGMemes
TROLLINGTwitter shenanigans
TROLLINGKompromat
CULT OFPERSONALITYOnline
CULT OFPERSONALITYOnline
DIRECT ACTIONOnline behaviors have offlineconsequencesFIRST GENERATION
DIRECT ACTIONOnline behaviors have offlineconsequences2013
WHAT’S THE ROI?05
IS THIS WORKING FOR THEGOVERNMENT?YESMany people are afraid to express themselvesThe outspoken online are the already outs...
IS THIS WORKING FOR THEGOVERNMENT?NOOpposition audienceNetwork structures are advantageousSome opposition have access to f...
BUT THE GOVERNMENT ISWINNING… FOR NOW.By focusing on “the good life” and punishing dissent in a variety ofways, the govern...
THANK YOUFOR YOURTIME
Extra Slides
AOppositionParty122,927likesBOppositionParty 211,353followers/friendsVariousYouth activist org 1K12,524followers/friendsJ1...
Connective Action – OrganizationallyEnabled Networks
Collective Action
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  • Hello, Katy. Thank you for posting it. Is there any way to save it in my PC? I would like to print it and consult it later on for my future research (of course I would show the source and the reference). I am still the 'hard-copy person' you see. Thank you.
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Uwtalk

  1. 1. Networked Authoritarianism in Azerbaijan: How the Azerbaijanigovernment uses the Internet to deter dissentKaty PearceAssistant Professor, Department of Communication,University of Washington@katypearce
  2. 2. 12345INTRODUCTIONTHE PLAYERSOPPOSITION INTERNET EFFORTSGOVERNMENT INTERNET ACTIVITIESWHAT’S THE ROI?Outline
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION01
  4. 4. • Azerbaijan has a unique way of managing theInternet, by leaving the Internet “open”…• It can claim that there is freedom of expression• It can monitor citizens• It can use the Internet/social media as anotherinformation dissemination medium• This is unique, but could be emulated elsewhere• An opportunity to study mechanisms of control anddissent in the digital eraSO WHAT? (a preview)
  5. 5. • 9 million people• Majority Shia Muslim• 99% literacy• Per capita GDP USD 10,000• Oil wealthAZERBAIJAN
  6. 6. AUTHORITARIANISM IN AZERBAIJAN- Father and sonpresidential legacy- Suppression of civilliberties- Little freedom ofexpression- Pervasive bitterness- Apathy and fear- Self-censorshipAzerbaijan is apetro-state whoseoil revenues haveallowed the regimeto preempt anyopposition.
  7. 7. • World has changed.• Performance of democratic attitudes.AUTHORITARIANISM AIN’TWHAT IT USED TO BE
  8. 8. THUS AZERBAIJAN CARES ABOUT ITSGLOBAL IMAGE (A LITTLE)Why?Because Azerbaijan wantsto be seen (by internalaudience) as importantand powerful.LOREM IPSUMDOLOR SIT AMET ELQUASI IPSA OMNISISTEDOLOR SITAMET EL QUASIIPSA OMNIS ISTE
  9. 9. THE INTERNET IS THE ONLY SPACE FOR FREE EXPRESSION IN AZERBAIJAN
  10. 10. BUTNot many Azerbaijanis areonline6%14%22%33%4% 4%7%11%9%12%20%24%0%10%20%30%40%50%2009 2010 2011 2012Daily Internet users (%) (CB)Armenia Azerbaijan Georgia19%31%38%52%19% 20%26% 27%25%29%37%43%0%20%40%60%2009 2010 2011 2012Ever use the Internet (%) (CB)Armenia Azerbaijan Georgia
  11. 11. Azerbaijan can easily lieabout Internet penetrationrates.Moreover
  12. 12. WHAT AREAZERBAIJANISDOING ONLINE?15%8%13%10%4%6%Searching for informationFacebook (raw number = 941,554 adults)EmailMusic / videosNewsSkype3%GamesCaucasus Barometer, 2012
  13. 13. THE PLAYERS02
  14. 14. Some of those 11%-27% of Azerbaijanis are up for grabs.And as more Azerbaijanis get online, they will be up forgrabs as well.
  15. 15. The Government
  16. 16. President169,959Policy decisionsPR social mediateamFirst Lady66,639 + 14,293Daughters123,000 + 2422Pro-government youth5,113 personality / 28,365 groupMore distant dirtyworkers5 million AZN = $6.37 millionWhy?Facebook likes, late April 2013
  17. 17. The Opposition
  18. 18. Collective and Connective ActionNetworksConnectiveAction• Self organizing networks• Little or no organizationalcoordination of action• Large scale personal access tomulti-layered socialtechnologies• Personal expression sharedover social networksConnectiveAction• Organizationally enablednetworks• Loose organizationalcoordination of action• Some organizationalmoderation of personalexpression through socialnetworks• Organizations in thebackground, loosely linkednetworksCollectiveAction• Organizationally brokerednetworks• Organizations in theforeground• Social technologies used byorganizations to manageparticipation and coordinategoals(Bennett & Segerberg, 2012)
  19. 19. Collective and Connective ActionNetworks in AzerbaijanConnectiveAction• Self organizing networks• Outside of the formalopposition party system• Strong personalities• Reputation built &solidifiedonline• Strategic use of social media• Strongest social mediainfluence• Some openly critiqueoppositionConnectiveAction• Organizationally enablednetworks• Individuals affiliated withlooser organizations• Less social media influencethan self organizing, althoughstill large numbers offollowers and friendsCollectiveAction• Organizationally brokerednetworks• Traditional opposition partiesuse social media to somedegree• Best known personalities dohave manyfollowers/friends/likes, butsuch little content, very littleinfluence
  20. 20. 1649 5420 6249 7577 8000 913911353 12524 1367916821 18000229277000078293E D C F G I B K L J G A N OFacebook Audience Size (Late April 2013)OppositionleaderOppositionleaderNotableforeignaudienceNotableforeignaudiencePrimarilyyouthaudience8307Self organizing networksOrganizationally enablednetworksOrganizationally brokerednetworks58024
  21. 21. Takeaways• Government is a hierarchical structure• Many followers, but entirely for informationdissemination, little interactivity• Opposition networks exist in 3 forms• Traditional collective action• Use social media for information dissemination• Organizational enabled networks• Personality-driven, but within loose affiliations withorganizations• Social media reach weaker than other types• Connective action networks• Independent from organizations• Social media is the organizing medium• Substantial audience
  22. 22. OPPOSITION INTERNET EFFORTS03
  23. 23. 11/11/2012 5/1/2013Dec-12 Jan-13 Feb-13 Mar-13 Apr-13Jan-13LARGEUNSANCTIONED PROTESTFeb-13LARGEUNSANCTIONED PROTESTMar-13OPPOSITIONYOUTH DETAINEDMar-13MOREOPPOSITION YOUTH DETAINEDJan-13FINES IN EFFECTJan-13RIOTSFeb-13PROTESTFeb-13FUNDRAISINGMar-13LARGEUNSANCTIONED PROTESTNov-12GULARGATEMar-13ATTACKS ONINGOS & OSCEMar-13MOREOPPOSITION YOUTH DETAINEDApr-13MOREOPPOSITION YOUTH DETAINEDApr-13OPPOSITIONYOUTH DETAINEFeb-13FUNDRAISING LAWApr-13AFU TROUBLES
  24. 24. Connective Action - Self Organizing
  25. 25. Real
  26. 26. 10,500 AZNUS$13,000
  27. 27. GOVERNMENT INTERNETACTIVITIES04
  28. 28. This is a “middle path” between open accessand censorship.The Azerbaijani government claims that "thereis Internet freedom in Azerbaijan“ becausethere is no filtering.By electing to define Internet freedom in thestrictest sense of the word, the governmentuses a semantic shift to deflect criticism.Azerbaijan has a unique approach toInternet regulationAZERBAIJAN ANDINTERNET REGULATION
  29. 29. CONTENT CONTROLS THAT REDUCE “INTERNET FREEDOM”Internet filteringPolicing cyber cafesFIRST GENERATION SECOND GENERATION THIRD GENERATIONLegal information control andillegal content, defamationlawsInformation removal requestsShutdownsNetwork attacksSurveillanceState-sponsored informationcampaignsTrolling*Cult of personality*Direct actionDeibert & Rohozinski, 2010; * Pearce, 2013
  30. 30. FIRST GENERATIONPornography is filteredOccasionally during elections there is greater filteringRecent blocking efforts and threats of blockingBut there are no administrative or court decisionsordering blockingIn an informal test of cafes, we found no filteringNOT EXTENSIVE BUT…Internet filteringPolicing cyber cafes
  31. 31. SECOND GENERATIONOffline laws apply to the online space – including defamationPublicizing opinions that instigate extremism or have“harmful content” is illegalOfficials have claimed that spreading misinformation is acybercrime and noted Skype and Wikipedia as threats tonational securityWide scope of circumstances where ISPs can cut off InternetservicesLegal information controland illegalcontent, defamation lawsInformation removalrequestsShutdownsNetwork attacks
  32. 32. THIRD GENERATIONTHE MOST COMMON FORM INAZERBAIJANSurveillanceState-sponsored informationcampaignsTrollingOnline cult of personalityDirect action
  33. 33. Real• Activists report having printed Facebook privatemessaging transcripts handed to them while inpolice custody• Logins from multiple IP addresses in Facebook andGmail• Arrests• Evidence of working with known surveillance firmsImagined• Reality does not matter when many believe that thegovernment is watchingSURVEILLANCEReal and imagined
  34. 34. • Azerbaijani government-controlled medialinks social media use with• Mental illness• Family tragedies• Criminal incidents• Sex trafficking• Pedophilia• Pro-government youth encouraged tobecome active on social networking sites• Instructed to expose traitorsINFORMATIONCAMPAIGNSState-sponsored
  35. 35. TROLLINGMemes
  36. 36. TROLLINGTwitter shenanigans
  37. 37. TROLLINGKompromat
  38. 38. CULT OFPERSONALITYOnline
  39. 39. CULT OFPERSONALITYOnline
  40. 40. DIRECT ACTIONOnline behaviors have offlineconsequencesFIRST GENERATION
  41. 41. DIRECT ACTIONOnline behaviors have offlineconsequences2013
  42. 42. WHAT’S THE ROI?05
  43. 43. IS THIS WORKING FOR THEGOVERNMENT?YESMany people are afraid to express themselvesThe outspoken online are the already outspoken offline and are willing totake risksSocial media provide an excellent way to monitor behaviorThe pro-government social media world is expandingThere are few successful critiquesWhat happens on Facebook used to stay on FacebookWhen things aren’t working, make new policies
  44. 44. IS THIS WORKING FOR THEGOVERNMENT?NOOpposition audienceNetwork structures are advantageousSome opposition have access to foreigners and gaining attentionLack of sustainability
  45. 45. BUT THE GOVERNMENT ISWINNING… FOR NOW.By focusing on “the good life” and punishing dissent in a variety ofways, the government is solidifying its position.But is this worth the cost?The opposition on the other hand, has a network structure that isresilient and efficient.Some of the opposition responds to attacks in innovative ways.
  46. 46. THANK YOUFOR YOURTIME
  47. 47. Extra Slides
  48. 48. AOppositionParty122,927likesBOppositionParty 211,353followers/friendsVariousYouth activist org 1K12,524followers/friendsJ16,821likesFOrganization 27577 followers/friendsDAffiliated withOP25420 followers/friendsL13,679followers/friendsH8000 followers/friendsCOrganization 16249 followers/friendsM?I9139 friends/followersG18,000followers/friendsN78,293followers/friendsO~70,000 followers/friendsEYouth activist org 11649 followers
  49. 49. Connective Action – OrganizationallyEnabled Networks
  50. 50. Collective Action

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