Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest

Front Cover
Yale University Press, 2017 - COMPUTERS / Web / Social Media - 326 pages
A firsthand account and incisive analysis of modern protest, revealing internet-fueled social movements' greatest strengths and frequent challenges

To understand a thwarted Turkish coup, an anti-Wall Street encampment, and a packed Tahrir Square, we must first comprehend the power and the weaknesses of using new technologies to mobilize large numbers of people. An incisive observer, writer, and participant in today's social movements, Zeynep Tufekci explains in this accessible and compelling book the nuanced trajectories of modern protests--how they form, how they operate differently from past protests, and why they have difficulty persisting in their long-term quests for change.

Tufekci speaks from direct experience, combining on-the-ground interviews with insightful analysis. She describes how the internet helped the Zapatista uprisings in Mexico, the necessity of remote Twitter users to organize medical supplies during Arab Spring, the refusal to use bullhorns in the Occupy Movement that started in New York, and the empowering effect of tear gas in Istanbul's Gezi Park. These details from life inside social movements complete a moving investigation of authority, technology, and culture--and offer essential insights into the future of governance.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bfister - LibraryThing

I’ve been reading articles, blog posts, and tweets by Zeynep Tufekci, a Turkish-born scholar who works at the North Carolina School of Information and Library Science and is a long-time Berkman Center ... Read full review

Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest

User Review  - Publishers Weekly

This insightful and analytical account of mass protest in the 21st century focuses on the “intertwined” power and weaknesses of new technologies that can be used to galvanize large numbers of people ... Read full review


A Networked Public
Censorship and Attention
Leading the Leaderless
Technology and People
Platforms and Algorithms
Signaling Power and Signaling to Power
Governments Strike Back
The Uncertain Climb

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2017)

Zeynep Tufekci is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, associate professor at the University of North Carolina School of Information and Library Science, and a faculty associate at the Harvard Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society.

Bibliographic information