What if the Internet is not really a utopian democratic catalyst of change?
The Web is often seen as a positive means of instilling democratic freedoms in countries under authoritarian rule, but many regimes are now using it to subvert democracy, Evgeny Morozov, a contributing editor at "Foreign Policy", proposes.
The Internet can actually inhibit rather than empower civil society, Morozov, argued in a lecture on Tuesday at London's Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.
Social media platforms are being used by certain governments to create a "spinternet" to influence public opinion. They are also being used as part of a process of "authoritarian deliberation" to try and increase the legitimacy of authoritarian rule, he said.
Morozov spoke with Reuters after the lecture.