Online censorship

The goal of this research project is twofold. First, it explores when and why authoritarian regimes employ different forms of online censorship, such as website filtering and technical attacks. Second, it looks at the consequences of online censorship and focuses on traffic data and user behavior. To shed light on these objectives, I collaborate with computer scientists from the Center of Applied Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA) at the University of California, San Diego, and the Censored Planet Lab at the University of Michigan.

Published papers related to this project have investigated the use of Denial-of-Service attacks as a censoring tool in autocracies and explored the prevalence of online filtering of COVID-19 related websites worldwide. In more recent work, I explored the resilience of news websites to online censorship in Egypt and find that news outlets are only rarely successful in countering censorship. In ongoing work, Vilde Lunnan Djuve and I prepare to field online surveys in multiple authoritarian countries investigation information seeking behavior and the use of circumvention technologies. We are grateful to the University of Oslo’s Democracy initiative for funding here.

Philipp M. Lutscher
Philipp M. Lutscher
Postdoctoral Fellow

My research interests include communication and information technology, authoritarian regimes, contentious politics, and quantitative methods