A Research on Internet and Democracy: Impacts and CorrelationsName, SID
Abstract:Internet usage is very common among every age group and every class of people. Be it a student or aprofessional, metro citizen or villager, teenager or aged person. With the high degree of usage ofinternet, people actively participate in online surveys regarding elections also put forth the opinionsrelated to current issues. Democracy has also been affected by the internet usage; both positively andnegatively. This report focuses on interrelation between internet and democracy. Moreover, it alsopresents the studies conducted to find the correlation between people and their interest towardsdemocracy. A study is also reviewed that researched about the attitude of physical education teachers ondemocracy. It was found that physical education teachers have positive attitude towards internet anddemocracy. This report also enlists the negative and positive impacts of internet on democracy. Internethas great benefits on democracy but also comes with harmful effects that cannot be ignored.1.Introduction1.1Internet and Democracy IntermingledInternet has become a very important part of an individual. It not only influences the daily life but alsosocial life where people put forth there viewpoints regarding many current issues. Democracy was alwaysa point of discussion to many individuals at smaller level like discussing with family, friends andcolleagues but with the help of Internet, people discusses it online with people from different parts of theglobe (Margetts, 2013). Now days, even political parties are making good use of technology to promotetheir candidates for elections. Leaders post their contributions towards society which helps them inbuilding a fan base all over the world. Internet has gained its strength in people’s life from last twodecades but to build democratic values and culture was always a primary concern for schools. With theincrease in technology, governance and way of looking towards democracy has been changed over aperiod of time. Many ICT (Internet and Communication Technologies) have been introduces tounderstand, operate and maintain democratic processes (Dahlberg & Siapera, 2007)). Internet has made itpossible to keep a close check on different political parties and governance for last many years. It helps infinding key information related to the government. This provided total transparency to people so as to getdetailed information of the candidate they are willing to vote. Democracy and Internet are these days very closely interrelated to each other for many different reasons.People usually consider democracy as the right to vote and nothing more. It is not just related to theprocess of voting and electing the favorite candidate but also related to the citizens for their social andindividual rights; most importantly, right to communicate and freedom of speech. Social media playsimportant role in giving citizens its freedom of speech by putting opinions about certain national issues.Government has also started paying close attention to citizen’s point of view related to the current affairsand then planning is made to find appropriate ways to deal with the issue with motto of gaining citizens’attention and positive feedback (Levine et al, 2002). Internet has allowed many people to directly discusstheir social problems with the hope of seeking appropriate services form the governance. This has madegreater benefit in time required to act for the government. Within no time, issue is brought intogovernment’s knowledge with the help of electronic media. This helps government to act immediately interms of emergency helps required. Internet in this manner influences democracy in highly greatestextent. Formerly, a decade ago, only few literate people had knowledge of making use of internet for thispurpose. But these days, it has become easier for a common man with acute knowledge of usingtechnology to put forth the social issues. Known, current or upcoming technologies always affect the political and governmental operations inmany ways. In past years, candidates for elections used to get advertised on TV same as a commodity isadvertised. It always required high amount of money to show advertisement for few seconds. Nowadays,as internet has become a media for free of cost promotion, it helps a lot to political parties for promotingtheir candidates with high degree of information transmission. No high money is required to promote1
candidates on Internet. It helps government to pass advertisement and make it reach to thousands ofpeople within no time. People on social media advertisement also put their comments which help politicalparties to gain confidence related to the elections and voting results. It gives them reality check on thecandidate’s reputation and chances of winning. Internet also helps political parties to assess which personto select from the part on the basis of his social work and supporters. More the positive image, more arethe chances of winning, this helps parties to select the most reputed person on the basis of his politicalimage and social background. Internet has gained high acceptance for its speed of providing knowledgeand speed of getting services. 1.2OrganizationThe report is organized to provide the positive and negative effects of Internet on democracy. Followingto it, a section provides detailed literature study about Internet and its democratic impacts. Relatedresearch study has been conducted and reported. It also discusses the correlation between democracy andinternet users over a course of time. This report gives detailed interrelation between Internet andDemocracy.2.Internet: Positive and Negative Sides from Democratic Point of View2.1 Positive TraitsInformation TransparencyInformation is always a precious source when it comes for seeking knowledge about politics. Manyarticles can be easily found to gain knowledge related to political parties, government and their workwhen elected over past many decades. Information access educates society for better living. Society withbetter social knowledge has different creative ideas and values. They are always aware of their moralduties and rights. Educated people are always aware of democratic principles as well. Hence internetplays a vital role in building better citizens. Freedom of SpeechInternet helps people to voice their mind and heart. It provides a platform to share and discuss values andalso show their anger and frustrations over governance. Citizens make good use of e-mail, text, videos,cartoons and websites to express their viewpoints. It raises not only one to one communication but alsoone to many and eventually many to many communications. Activists, physically arrange promotionalrallies for their candidate. Prepare and install hoardings to advertise their candidate for better response inelections. (Gutstein, 1999) There come E-activists those prepare banners and promotional content onlineand promote it. Those activities with not enough resources for physical rallies and hoardings, usuallypromote online with minimal resources and high coverage of promotions. Transparency in Government activities, accountability and servicesPolitical party after acing elections comes into governance with citizens’ high expectations towards theirpromises made at the time of elections. Internet helps people to account all the work and activities beingdone by government for the betterment of the citizens. It provides detailed information of the services ofthe government related to the current issues. This makes people realize all the work done undergovernment action period are for social and economic betterment; eventually helps in building closerelationship between government and citizens. On the contrary, it also educates people about the scamsand corruptions presently happened to know the detailed government aims. Internet also helps inconducting transit polls prior to elections to monitor possible election outcomes. Hence it helps inprotecting democratic principles (Ünlü, 2017)). Dissemination of Democracy around the globeSpreading information and promoting ideas is the easiest task using internet. Most importantly, if theideas and information needs to be promoted overseas or globally, internet is the best media to do this2
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