Anti-blasphemy offensives in the digital age: When hardliners take over

The paper discusses incidents where users have been accused of ‘blasphemous’ posts on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and persecuted for it. That has occurred in : Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.

I analyse the toll anti-blasphemy laws have on sectarian violence and broader international relations, and examine the debate over censorship and surveillance within the corporate decision-making process. I also discuss the Internet industry’s margin for maneuver to help protect Internet users from governmental persecution.

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