Government Internet Shutdown Mobilized the Masses

The government could have been smarter. The best way to divert our youth from politics would have been to give them free, unlimited internet access a few days before the protests, and drop the price of beer and condoms – all the while playing “Be safe, live long” songs on the radios. The youngies would have been watching porn, WhatsApping and YouTubing, and would have been too distracted to think about politics.

Shutting down the internet achieved the opposite. Far from limiting youth mobilisation, it galvanised word of mouth and turned many neutrals against the regime. To young people for whom the internet had become so much part of the daily routine, the shutdown felt like an intrusion, a burglary of their personal life.

Previously preoccupied mostly by sex and alcohol during the long two months of the school vacation, our youth were bloated with testosterone and boosted by a huge surge in political consciousness. They started gathering, talking to each other, commenting on the moves and motives of political leaders. The shutdown brought more people into the political stream.


Folksonomies: politics revolution productivity distraction mobilization

 No business, no boozing, no casual sex: when Togo turned off the internet
Electronic/World Wide Web>Internet Article:  Koutonin, Mawuna (21 September 2017), No business, no boozing, no casual sex: when Togo turned off the internet, Retrieved on 2017-09-29
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  • Folksonomies: politics distraction mobilization