The internet and authoritarianism

The rapid expansion of access to the internet, and rise of social media, was initially thought to increase democracy because of more access to information in closed societies, ease to confront authoritarians…but instead the world became more authoritarian.


Have authoritarians benefited in some way from the expansion of internet access and social media, perhaps due to radicalization, or ability to control the message and consolidate control over media platforms…or use misinformation.

Or is the rise of authoritarianism just taking place at the same time. It occurs to me that the internet, after a brief period of kind of free for all, has gone through unprecedented concentration (i.e Google, Amazon), like giant “trusts” in late 19th century America.

Could it be that the concentration of power in the tech/internet sector is related to the rise of authoritarianism and that the increased weakness of democracies is aa byproduct. Because logically having all these platforms should have resulted in more open societies, not less.

Is the exploitation of social media and other internet platforms similar to the way other mediums, such as newsprint or radio were also exploited at times of increased authoritarianism (the 1930s for instance) when authoritarians learn to harness new media to their cause.

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