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MIT Technology Review

How the Internet Empowers and Endangers Protest Movements

Zeynep Tufekci’s new book reports from the front lines of protest movements enabled by social media – and explains how governments are learning to fight back.

From Cairo’s Tahrir Square to New York’s Zucotti Park, academic Zeynep Tufekci’s new book takes readers inside protest movements driven by the power of social networking and online communications. It has never been easier to pack the streets with protestors – what used to take community organizers months can be achieved in minutes with a single hashtag. Yet Tufekci also shows that movements that spring up this way can be more fragile and fleeting than those of the past, and that governments are getting wise to Internet protest tactics. Tufekci, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, recently spoke with Tom Simonite, MIT Technology Review’s San Francisco Bureau Chief. Twitter and Teargas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest, is published on May 16 by Yale University Press.