Sarah Myers West, Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, University of Southern California
This paper seeks to provide insight into how digital activists navigate the risks posed to them in online environments. I examine how a group of activists across ten different non-Western countries adapt and respond to threats posed by two types of powerful actors: not just the state, but also the technology companies that run the social media platforms on which many activists rely to conduct their advocacy. Through a series of interviews, I examine how resistance against censorship and surveillance manifests through their everyday practices, not only by using encryption and circumvention technologies, but also by using commercial social media platforms to their advantage despite considerable ambivalence about the risks they pose.
Open Access Media
USENIX is committed to Open Access to the research presented at our events. Papers and proceedings are freely available to everyone once the event begins. Any video, audio, and/or slides that are posted after the event are also free and open to everyone. Support USENIX and our commitment to Open Access.