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Why the internet is failing Iran’s activists

Clay Shirky is wrong to be upbeat about how technology is boosting Iran's democracy movement. If anything, it's helping the regime crack down

By Evgeny Morozov   January 2010

Read Clay Shirky’s response to this exchange here

I am glad that Clay Shirky has offered such a balanced and much-needed rejoinder to the initial optimism that he espoused in his widely-publicised book of 2008, Here Comes Everybody. As I wrote in Prospect’s December cover story, “How Dictators Watch Us On the Web,” I, like Shirky, also view the ongoing events in Iran as a key test for social media’s growing prominence in the politics of authoritarian societies. Where I strongly disagree with Shirky, however, is in his upbeat interpretation of the current political developments in Iran.

I am much…

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