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When Social Networks Become Tools of Oppression: Jillian C. York

June 7 (Bloomberg) -- When Syria’s government unblocked Facebook, YouTube and Blogspot in February, many activists saw the move as an overture to protesters, possibly one offering a semblance of the freedoms won by insurgents in Egypt and Tunisia.

Others saw it as a potential means of surveillance. They were right: Within weeks, reports began to emerge from detained Syrian activists who said that authorities had demanded their Facebook passwords. Others inside the country noted that their friends’ Facebook walls had been compromised and now contained pro-regime sentiment.