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Posts Tagged ‘Digital Democracy’

In the United States social media tools have impacted presidential campaigns since the Presidential Election in 2000. Philip Howard points out on his book New Media Campaigns and the Managed Citizen that after the election in 2000, exit polls showed that “a third of the electorate had used the internet to learn about the campaigns. After the 2004 election, surveys revealed that over half the electorate had gone online to get news or information about the campaigns.” According to Howard, Tim Vickey from George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign, stated that he saw this type of work as “improving the quality of democratic deliberation” (pp 45). It is also argued that communication technology could be used to promote democratic value by making information available to the public, which can be done easily through the different social media tools available now. In addition in the book The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, the author, Joe Trippi takes the reader throughout the changes that social media tools had made in political campaigns in the United States. Trippi states that what Barack Obama and his campaign achieved in 2008 “qualifies as yet another quantum leap in campaigning, in the use of the Internet, and in our democratic history.” Social media tools have brought to the United States a sense of true democracy in which the people have a voice. Now it’s not a one way communication as it was before, today is a two way communication where people can talk, share, organize, and mobilize politically.

In other democratic countries, social media tools have started to make an impact as well. Chile in South America and Egypt in the Middle East (part of the African Continent) are using some of these tools as part of their democratic right. However, due to political and cultural history, these tools are not being used with the same purpose as in the United States.

Digital Democracy in Chile & Egypt

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Digital Democracy

Throughout this course, I have learned about the impact of digital media on democracy and vice versa. The influence of Digital Democracy is vast; it influences e-commerce, marketing and social media. In this class, determination of political outlines and how politics is implemented in DM were considered such as political blogs and forums/ websites, political advertising, news sites and more recently open source software news sites.

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Information Society

Indeed, it is very ironic that people live in the age of information abundance, yet some lack crucial knowledge, as indicated in “Are People Better Informed in the Information Society” reading. Many researchers have been done and proved that people now know as much as before or maybe less; two experts in public opinion and political behavior find that many citizens are remarkably informed about the details of politics, while equally large numbers are nearly ignorant of political facts. (Carpini, 1997). But the question here is, why lacking information is a big issue?

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A while ago, I noticed that many Americans don’t grasp solid information about international politics. Oddly enough, many Americans are ignorant towards local or national politics.

When I first read the question “Are People Better Informed in the Information Society”, I thought that I know the answer, not really. While reading, I came across two opposite views, Wade Roush affirms that the society is informed due to the existence of technology; more technologies equal better services.

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People of Change

Yesterday was the most exciting political experience of my life. I witnessed something different, something I’ve always longed for–change.  The United States of America has proven to the world that it is different from any other nation. I have always known the U.S. to be a multicultural country; yet I’ve also been cognizant of the fact that power has rested mainly with the white majority. Not anymore.  Today the United States is a country where the presidency is accessible by individuals of all races, cultures and beliefs.

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Since many online services are scoring the greatest success based on the remarkable nature of the interactivity and accessibility of the internet, political researchers, with respect to electronic voting, regard voting no differently than other online services. While reading “Voter-Centered Design: Toward a Voter Decision Support System”, I came across the notion of creating internet-based electronic voting system.

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False Campaigns

Few days ago one of my friends sent me an email titled “New Presidential Candidate…Someone We know!” I was so excited to learn more about the content of this email because I knew that it will be strongly related to my “Digital Democracy” class. I typed in my instructor’s name of this course “Kathy Gill” and here what I have got.

http://www.tsgnet.com/pres.php?id=46832&altf=Lbuiz1&altl=Hjmm

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