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Avoiding a twitter revolution in Swaziland

Various scholars and analysts will continue to debate the role of social media within the Arab Spring. But Swaziland’s King Mswati III isn’t taking any chances: According to the M&G, he’s planning to ban criticism on facebook and twitter. I am guessing that the little kingdom state probably doesn’t have the capacity to track down its cyber-critics. But perhaps the relationship between Mswati and the largely South Africa-based mobile and internet providers is cozier than I assume it to be?

At the moment, the Swaziland facebook page is replete with nasty critiques: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Swaziland/48672481450, and renewed calls for protest on April 12.

Note to autocrats: don’t bother proposing a ban on free speech unless you can actually carry it out!

About Evan Lieberman

I am a Professor of Political Science at MIT, and I conduct research, write, and teach about development, ethnic politics, and research methods.

Discussion

3 thoughts on “Avoiding a twitter revolution in Swaziland

  1. No use banning criticism in on-line resourses, IMHO. It will not reduce people’s discontent and will not prevent them from expressing criticism. People everywhere, no mater in the country with what political system they live, must have an opportunity to express their points of view, especially if they do it on their private pages in the net!

    Posted by pdf viewer | April 13, 2012, 2:09 am

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Blog Highlights 13th Apr – Law and the Poor, Illegal Fishing in W. Africa, Results in Aid, Francis Fukuyama reviews, and much more… | pizzandevelopment - April 13, 2012

  2. Pingback: Swaziland: Social media lese majeste law planned « turcanin. cu ţ. - June 5, 2012

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