Media, Protest and Resistance in Authoritarian Contexts

27 August 2020, Version 1
This content is an early or alternative research output and has not been peer-reviewed at the time of posting.


Information communication technologies (ICTs) facilitate transnational connection, coordination and collaboration, which are essential for new social movements. At the same time, issues of access and censorship hinder social movement use of social media for mobilization. This paper examines how internet technology is used by social movements to discuss issues of identity, dignity and justice. Through subtle everyday acts of protests, women contest state narratives by documenting their presence in both physical and virtual public spaces. Iranian women practice the art of presence, demonstrating social media activism’s ability to circumvent censorship and facilitate public discourse regarding controversial issues. This study collects and analyzes data from Twitter and other social networking platforms to investigate the evolution of digital campaigns and relates these cases to the long-standing tradition of Iranian women’s voices with a focus on the critical role of the camera and user generated content in art and daily life.


social movements
social media
information communication technology
computational social science
human rights


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