This examination of the ways oppressive regimes are trying to keep down dissenting voices on the Internet and social media includes examples from China, Cuba, Siberia, as well as success stories from Egypt and Tunisia. 15,000 first printing.
“An essential read.” —The Los Angeles Review of Books“One can practically overdose on the levels of intrigue at play in this account of "netizens," bloggers turned social crusaders turned Internet rock stars.” —Boston GlobeIn China, university students use the Internet to save the life of an attempted murder victim. In Cuba, authorities unsuccessfully try to silence an online critic by sowing seeds of distrust in her marriage. And in Russia, a lone blogger rises to become one of the most prominent opposition figures since the fall of the Soviet Union. Authoritarian governments try to isolate individuals from one another, but in the age of social media freedom of speech is impossible to contain. Online, people discover that they are not alone. As one blogger put it, "Now I know who my comrades are." In her groundbreaking book, Now I Know Who My Comrades Are: Voices from the Internet Underground, Emily Parker, formerly a State Department policy advisor, writer at The Wall Street Journal and editor at The New York Times, provides on-the-ground accounts of how the Internet is transforming lives in China, Cuba, and Russia. It's a new phenomenon, but one that's already brought about significant political change. In 2011 ordinary Egyptians, many armed with little more than mobile phones, helped topple a thirty-year-old dictatorship. It was an extraordinary moment in modern history—and Now I Know Who My Comrades Are takes us beyond the Middle East to the next major civil rights battles between the Internet and state control. For example, Parker charts the rise of Russia's Alexey Navalny from ordinary blogger to one of the greatest threats to Vladimir Putin's regime. This book introduces us to an army of bloggers and tweeters—generals and foot soldiers alike. Even as they navigate the risks of authoritarian life, they feel free. Now I Know Who My Comrades Are is their story.“Parker . . . argues that online communication can undermine authoritarian rule even when its effects don't make their way to the streets.” —The New Yorker