…techno-utopianism – the thought that getting around internet restrictions and using social media will somehow lead to government upheaval and massive social change – is mostly a sham.1

…this is an anachronistic view of the world. Modern authoritarian states have eagerly (but selectively) embraced globalisation to provide their citizens with at least a modicum of self-actualisation without ever abandoning their authoritarianism. Their young people travel the world, learn English, use Skype and poke each other on Facebook – all while competing for comfortable jobs with state-owned companies. We are entering the age of “accommodating authoritarianism” – and the internet has played a crucial (though hardly the only) role in providing many of the accommodations.2

  1. Chow, Elaine (2010). Internet memes: The GFW Flow Chart, Shanghaiist, January 5, 2010 5:00 PM Link.
  2. Morokiv, Evgeny (2009). [title unknown], The National, 31 December, Link. Quoted in: Chow (2010)