Digital Activism and Authoritarian Adaptation in the Middle East

Date and Time

May 25, 2021 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
May 27, 2021 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
June 1, 2021 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
June 3, 2021 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Availability

RSVP Required.

Digital Activism and Authoritarian Adaptation in the Middle East Agenda (1 of 2)

Digital Activism and Authoritarian Adaptation in the Middle East Agenda (2 of 2)

Panel 1: Digital Activism

Tuesday, May 25, 2021 | 9-10:30 am PT

Opening Remarks: Marc Lynch, Eileen Donahoe, and Larry Diamond

Moderator: Hesham Sallam

  • Wafa Ben-Hassine: “The Hyper-Aware and Not-So-Aware: What's Next for the MENA Region's Activists and Society at Large Vis-a-Vis the Internet?”
  • Adel Iskander: “Re(Membering) Culture and Heritage: Egypt's Latest Political Turf War”
  • Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld: “Civilian Behavior on Social Media During Civil War”
  • Joshua Tucker: “Beyond Liberation Technology? The Recent Uses of Social Media by Pro-Democracy Activists”

 

Panel 2: Authoritarian Abuses of Internet Technologies

Thursday, May 27, 2021 | 9-10:30 am PT

Moderator: Marc Lynch

  • Marwa Fatafta: “Transnational or Cross-Border Digital Repression in the MENA Region”
  • Andrew Leber: “Social Media Manipulation in the MENA: Inauthenticity, Inequality, and Insecurity” (Co-authored paper with Alexei Abrahams)
  • Marc Owen Jones: “Tracking Adversaries: The Evolution of Manipulation Tactics on Gulf Twitter”
  • Xiao Qiang: “Chinese Digital Authoritarianism and Its Global Impact”

 

Panel 3: Government Reshaping of Norms and Practices to Constrain Online Activity

Tuesday, June 1, 2021 | 9-10:30 am PT

Moderator: Eileen Donahoe

  • Ahmed Shaheed: “Binary Threat: How State Cyber Policy and Practice Undermines Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa Region”
  • Mona Elswah, Mahsa Alimardani: "The Hurdles Involved in Content Moderation in the MENA Region"
  • Mohamed Najem: “The Role of the Gulf in Governing Digital Space in the Arab Region”
  • James Shires: “The Techno-Regulation of Critical Communications Infrastructures and Their Political Potential in the Gulf”
  • Alexei Abrahams: “The Web (In)Security of Middle Eastern Civil Society and Media”

 

Panel 4: Cross-Border Information Operations

Thursday, June 3, 2021 | 9-10:30 am PT

Moderator: Larry Diamond

  • Alexandra Siegel: “Official Foreign Influence Operations: Transnational State Media in the Arab Online Sphere”
  • Hamit Akin Unver: “Russian Disinformation Operations in Turkey: 2015-2020”
  • Shelby Grossman and Renee DiResta: “In-House vs. Outsourced Trolls: How Digital Mercenaries Shape State Influence Strategies”
  • Nathaniel Gleicher: “Covert Manipulation, Overt Influence, Direct Exploit: Understanding and Countering Influence Operations in the Middle East and Beyond”

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