“We Will Either Find a Way, or Make One”: How Iranian Green Movement Online Activists Perceive and Respond to Repression

Ali Honari*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

While studies on the effect of repression of online activism mainly focus on the capabilities of states in surveillances and filtering on the web, this article focuses on individuals’ responses to repression. Using data gathered by in-depth interviews of online activists of the Iranian Green Movement—the pro-democracy movement which emerged after the disputed 2009 elections—this article attempts to shed light on online activism under repression. The article focuses on two questions: How do activists perceive repression? How do they respond to repression? The research distinguishes three dimensions of perceived repression which interactively influence activists’ choices in their response to repression: the importance of the repression, the external assessment of this repression, and the internal assessment. Regarding the response to repression, five distinct strategies are identified (1) de-identification, (2) network reformation, (3) circumvention, (4) self-censoring, and (5) being inconspicuously active. The study has a number of important theoretical and empirical implications for future studies on repression and online activism under authoritarian contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalSocial Media and Society
Volume4
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

Article first published online: October 3, 2018

Keywords

  • Iranian Green Movement
  • online activism
  • online repression
  • perceived repression
  • response to repression

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