Evgeny Morozov – live from Bristol Festival of Ideas

Come and join what promises to be a lively debate in our third streaming event from The Festival of Ideas in Watershed, Bristol. We will feed questions to the event via Skype so get ready to make the Manchester voice heard in Bristol!

Ticket price includes a drink giving you the opportunity to share your thoughts with fellow attendees in the bar afterwards.

The revolution will be Twittered! declared journalist Andrew Sullivan after protests erupted in Iran in June 2009. Yet for all the talk about the democratizing power of the internet, regimes in Iran and China are as stable and repressive as ever. In fact, authoritarian governments are effectively using the internet to suppress free speech, hone their surveillance techniques, disseminate cutting-edge propaganda, and pacify their populations with digital entertainment. Could the recent Western obsession with promoting democracy by digital means backfire?

Evgeny Morozov, commentator and author of The Net Delusion: How Not to Liberate the World, argues that by falling for the supposedly democratizing nature of the internet, Westerners may have missed how it also entrenches dictators, threatens dissidents, and makes it harder – not easier – to promote democracy. Marshalling compelling evidence, he shows why we must stop thinking of the internet and social media as inherently liberating and why highly ambitious and seemingly noble initiatives like the promotion of internet freedom might have disastrous implications for the future of democracy as a whole.

Sneak Preview
Watch Evgeny Morozov’s talk on how the Net aids dictatorship at the TED conference.

Festival of Ideas event presented with Watershed.

Evgeny Morozov is the author of The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom. He is a contributing editor to Foreign Policy and runs the magazine’s “Net Effect” blog about the internet’s impact on global politics. Morozov is currently a visiting scholar at Stanford University and a Schwartz fellow at the New America Foundation. He was formerly a Yahoo! fellow at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University and a fellow at George Soros’s Open Society Institute, where he remains on the board of the Information Program.

Before moving to the US, Morozov was based in Berlin and Prague, where he was Director of New Media at Transitions Online, a media development NGO active in 29 countries of the former Soviet bloc.

Morozov’s writings have appeared in The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The Washington Post among many others and he broadcasts regularly in international media.