No Tweets Allowed

Following the Arab Spring, a similar group of outbursts occurred in China. They was carried out by civilians and police. As soon as they started, the protests seemed to die out. The author then goes into detail about the suppression the Chinese government implements against activists and protests, such as these, in their own country. The controlled media began broadcasting the dangers of the Arab Spring riots, warning against similar ones from occurring in China. Seen in the VPN disruption, the Chinese government does not outright stop loopholes or protests, but rather ceases them from working in a way that cannot be traced back to them. It is believed that the government is worried because of the predicted economic troubles ahead. (1)


The New York Times posted an article regarding the people that have been recently punished by the Chinese government for posting on Twitter. Although most social media apps are banned in China, people circumvent the Golden Firewall and post on them as a way of speaking their minds. Those who post on Twitter or other accounts risk serious punishment from the government. Many people claim their tweets get mysteriously deleted. (2)


How do authoritarian regimes maintain control of the media without retaliation from their people?


An authoritarian regime is one which has high autonomy and often  one party consistently rules the government. It is important for an authoritarian regime that the people of the country have faith in the government because the leaders do not listen to the voice of the people often. Similar themes of media regulation can be seen in Russia where there is only one news station, and what is produced on this station is under the control of their leader, Putin.


(1) James Fallows “Arab Spring, Chinese Winter” The Atlantic (2011).

(2) Paul Mozur “Twitter Users in China Face Detention and Threats in New Beijing Crackdown” New York Times (Jan. 10, 2019).

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