Turkey’s election night was a strange one. Many questions swirled around the process, coalescing into an uproar — and then a citizen-led…
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On social media and Democracy 2.0 issues : interesting article. Excerpts.
"But I write not in praise of new media, but to ask a question: What if the new power that social media gives ordinary citizens is also part of the new problem? What if the very abilities of social media —ad-hoc but powerful capacity for organizing and logistics— lead to shortcomings which then hobble movements, at least in the short to medium term?
What if the positive capacity we celebrate is actually the problem we are lamenting?
What if, as the technologists themselves say, the feature is the bug?
But who, if anyone, is going to fix the failing institutions that continue to have an enormous impact on the everyday lives of everyone, regardless of their opinions about how corrupt, unpopular or even illegitimate these institutions are? Especially given how tedious, tiring, unexciting organization-building can be, compared with humorous, energized, adrenaline-filled efforts such as protests and occupations?
New media certainly enables even the coalitions of ordinary citizens to realize impressive logistics. I am amazed at the energy and creativity I’ve witnessed in country after country, as citizens organize everything from election monitoring to disaster aid. They do not lack in numbers, talent or creativity, and they have an impressive array of new tools. It’s not that the protesters are shying away from sacrifice or hard work, and it’s not that they are preferring online over offline—the Gezi Park protest thoroughly mixed online and offline, as had Occupy Wall Street.
And yet, these new movements keep failing to mount a successful — or even credible — electoral challenge, and they have not yet found a way to impact institutions which hold great sway and influence over our lives.
What if the feature is the bug?"