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Revolution StalledThe Political Limits of the Internet in the Post-Soviet Sphere$
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Sarah Oates

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199735952

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199735952.001.0001

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The Winter of Discontent

The Winter of Discontent

Elections, Protests, and the Internet in Russia, 2011–12

(p.165) 7 The Winter of Discontent
Revolution Stalled

Sarah Oates

Oxford University Press

By the end of 2011, it became clear the internet had changed the political landscape in Russia as the largest street protests since 1993 were triggered by reports of election falsification. This chapter analyzes a combination of factors that contributed to the Russian “winter of discontent”: (1) the failure of state media controls that relied on self-censorship; (2) an online sphere that was freer than traditional mass media; (3) an explosion in internet use that eroded the dominance of state-run television; (4) a lack of understanding about citizen attitudes and the online sphere on the part of the Kremlin; (5) crowd-sourcing; (6) online political networks; and (7) the role of online social entrepreneurs. In conjunction with these factors, reports of widespread electoral falsification served as a particularly emotive and powerful protest trigger for Russian citizens.

Keywords:   russia, internet, election, protests, falsification, control, self-censorship, television, attitudes, crowd-sourcing, networks

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