Does Internet Promote Democracy?
Does Internet Promote Democracy?
There are billions of people accessing the internet worldwide; searching on Yahoo and Google, communicating on social networks on Facebook; tweeting on Twitter; sharing videos on YouTube; shopping on Amazon and EBay ; playing games; and last but not least, accessing news from around the world. The internet enables anyone with access to create, and spread information. However, here the question is not about internet’s use, the question here is about does internet promote Democracy? It needs to be analyzed considering the Internet position on the international platform.
- It is through internet people can communicate and promote free flow of information, both within the country and outside the boundary lines. It is vital for a truly free democracy.
- The promotion of ‘democracy’ real meaning is derived when people focus on transparent government-citizen communication. For instance, Britain has two official websites where people can directly communicate with government representatives.
- It is with the help of internet the political dissidents can organize, communicate and promote a grassroots movement.
- The internet not only promotes information to oppressed people within a nation, but also communicates it to the rest of the world. The society gets to learn about other democratic and authoritarian governments across the world.
- The famous example is about Tunisia’s revolution that proved effective when it reached Egypt. The knowledge of actions of other governments and nations can promote democratic reforms within a specific country.
- The information available on internet can be entirely censored in order to support pro-regime propaganda.
- The example of Nirbhaya documentary is a famous example how the government can ban the spread of information.
- Coming to restrictions, no one can ignore the form of internet used in China. There is almost no internet freedom in the country and the specific terms like “Inner-Mongolia” and “Tiananmen Square” offers no search results as protests occurred there.
- Most of the times internet power is not accessed by oppressed group, in fact is solidifies the impact of the traditional elite.
- The concept that internet supports democracy is based on the assumption that internet access is done for good purposes. However, in present world it is the internet that has become an easy platform for communication amongst ISIS and other terrorists groups.
Internet can be used to spread the information for ‘good’ as well as ‘not so good’ purposes. If it is used for growing communication and spread of information it promotes democracy. However, it can be tampered for less than ideal objectives and therefore can be used for repression. Again, the key word here is freedom. The people don’t have enough freedom to use it for constructive purposes. The grassroots movements are planned, but either it die because of lack of support or are restricted by government itself when the movement gets enough support.
- RE: Does Internet Promote Democracy? -Deepa Kaushik (03/17/15)
- Instead of asking “Does the Internet promote Democracy?”, how about asking “Does our Democracy promote the use of Internet?”. Yes, it is the topic of discussion here that Internet and Democracy often get interlocked on critical matters. Internet is just a technology, an object that could be used as per our requirement. It could be used both constructively and destructively.
But, when we compare the weightage of Internet and Democracy, we are actually comparing the technology with the human brain. Now, the answer becomes obvious that the humans should rule the technology and not vice-versa. We should not get bound or trapped in to the vicious circle of technology. The Democracy means Governance, and governance is handled by human brain. We are in a situation to analyse the good and bad impacts of the technology by use of Internet. So, we, by means of Governance are controlling the Internet; which explains that the Democracy is controlling the Internet.
Internet can be helpful in promoting Democracy. Democracy is actually the Government Of the people, For the people and By the people. But, when it comes to control the Internet by way of censoring the matter, the Government which has been elected by the people, fails to hear to the people and proceeds in its own lines. Here, the common man in restricted to come up with his free flow of thoughts and promote the same to the masses. Very well quoted with the example of Nirbhaya case. When the common man cannot have the freedom to broadcast information and has to pass the Government, then the Democracy gets adulterated. Thus, Internet is only utilised in the unidirectional manner, that is from Government to the citizens, in promoting Democracy. However, the inverse direction of flow of thoughts is often restricted.