The Arab Spring| "I Have Understood You": The Co-evolution of Expression and Control on the Internet, Television and Mobile Phones During the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia

Ben Wagner


The mass demonstrations that led to the Jasmine Revolution in late 2010 and early 2011 have radically changed the media and communications landscape in Tunisia. All forms of information technology were until recently either heavily regulated by the Tunisian state or were owned by individuals with close links to then-President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. This analysis looks at regulatory regimes across three media and communications technologies during the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia—Internet, television and mobile phones—and shows that the regulatory regimes of media and communications technologies co-evolved with the protests. As expression about public protests became increasingly pervasive within these media, efforts to control them became increasingly restrictive. Thus changes in the media and communications landscape are discussed in the context of the co-evolution of regulatory regimes.

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