Zimbabwe is seeing the biggest anti-government protests in years, with social media a major driving force behind them.

Pastor Evan Mawarire is heralded as the initiator of the rise of social media activism, with an online monologue discussing the "violation" of the Zimbabwe flag that went viral earlier this year.

The video created a domino effect, launching an ongoing campaign using the hash tag #ThisFlag, used as a means of protesting about President Robert Mugabe's government.

They are labelling us 'terrorists' because we're expressing ourselves.

Patson Dzamara, online activist

The campaign has translated to real-life action, with hundreds of Zimbabweans taking to the streets carrying the flag to make their point. The hash tag has since triggered numerous other online "protests" and has therefore captured the attention of the authorities.

While the government of President Robert Mugabe has labelled online opposition "cyber-terrorism", online activists are pushing to get their message out to as many Zimbabweans as possible. Representatives of Mugabe's government have gone as far as to deny the rise in popularity of social media as a forum of political debate, claiming that "the numbers just aren't there" and that the majority of Zimbabweans are pro the Mugabe government.

The question is how far will the government go to control the online media narrative?

Talking us through the story are: Wallace Chuma, senior lecturer, University of Cape Town; Reyhana Masters, journalist; Patson Dzamara, online activist; Psychology Maziwisa, member of parliament, Zanu PF. 

Source: Al Jazeera