Digital Media and the Promotion of Deliberative Debate in Cuba

This report aims to examine digital independent media projects in Cuba within the broader media ecosystem in which they operate. More specifically, it looks at the context in which some journalists become disengaged from the Cuban institutional media system and decide to create independent spaces for debate and deliberation online. However, this research also complicates the commonly believed notion that these alternative digital publications naturally catalyze debate that is both critical and oppositional. The report draws on previous literature, digital debates on political ‘centrism’ in Cuba and in-depth interviews with Cuban journalists in order to assess the way in which an intellectual elite claims a disenfranchisement of politics from the state. This report is part of the Internet Policy Observatory’s Research For Impact series, and is included within a wider project that seeks to produce content aimed at a variety of audiences. On the academic side, the author has submitted a corresponding paper for peer review that examines the impact of the Internet and digital technologies on (1) journalistic discourses, (2) journalist’s in-group and out-group interactions and (3) larger media structures in Cuba. On the journalistic side, it is published in parallel to the dossier “Sobre Internet in Cuba” , produced by the independent magazine Periodismo de Barrio. For more details about this work, please email

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The Spiral Of Silence on Social Media: Cultures of Self-Censorship Online & Offline in Kyrgyzstan

This white paper draws on survey research on self-censorship practices of Kyrgyz citizens conducted between October and November, 2017. The report provides a historical account of Kyrgyzstan’s political and media systems and an overview of the findings as they relate to contemporary practices of silence and expression online and offline in the country. It then offers analysis of these findings and recommendations to the policy and advocacy communities working on issues related to democratization and freedom of expression in the Central Asian region.

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Wisdom of the Crowd: Multistakeholder Perspectives on the Fake News Debate

Social media platforms are increasingly accused of shaping public debate and engineering people’s behavior in ways that might undermine the democratic process. In order to vitalize a much-needed multistakeholder dialogue on corrective measures against the spread of false information, this project has undertaken a truncated multistakeholder consultation, addressing experts from academia, civil society, governments and the industry to assess diverging perspectives on institutional proposals, legislative responses, and self- regulation resolutions that have sprung up around the world. It also asks what new challenges platform moderation and related “fake news” issues pose to what might be called the “procedural fitness” of the current multistakeholder internet governance system. Finally, it suggests recommendations for architectural changes that could promote constructive and inclusive debate on the topic.

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