Social media censorship in times of political unrest – a social simulation experiment with the uk riots
Is social media censorship a means to quell a modern uprising? Some politicians and law enforcers during the political turbulence of 2011 thought so, but this recent research suggests that uncensored citizens experience less violence and longer periods of peace between outbursts than communities subject to censorship.
The authors used sophisticated computer modeling to find out if the assumptions that actors’ use of media – such as Twitter – fueled mob action through greater awareness were true. The researchers found that all possible scenarios led to initial outbursts of violence but how the situation evolved was significantly influenced by government social media censorship.