A great deal of thinking about the Internet and politics is still structured by a desire for deliberative democracy. From 1993 – when Howard Rheingold enunciated one of the Internet’s key founding myths – the virtual community – scholars have sought and found communities characterised by a mutuality of interests, a common purpose, a collaborative striving to renovate the democratic ideal, a tendency towards the “regulative idea” of the ideal speaking position, and an acknowledgement of the obligations of citizenship within the political association. For so long the Internet has continued to function, in Barbrook’s formulation, as a “redemptive technology”. Social media is just the latest in a long line of technologies which may, on a certain vision, rescue liberal democracy, with its decaying civic life and corrupt media, from itself.
Via jean lievens