The Internet is a place where people gather information, discuss issues of common concern, and coordinate political activities. At the same time, the Internet is a part of a larger communicative environment, which is connected to other parts of the public sphere as well as other parts of the media industry. In other words, the Internet is a complex, multidimensional space, where a lot of different things are happening. Given this fact, what are the criteria we would need in order to decide whether the Internet is good or bad for democracy (and the public sphere)? Based on those criteria, what is your verdict for the Internet: good for democracy or bad for democracy?
Internet is a major source of the information overflow in the society today. It is undeniable that it is through this particular advancement in the technology of conversation and communication that the different areas around the globe are becoming easily connected through the World Wide Web. The said nature of opened communication that society is particularly involves with in present naturally makes it easier for simply anybody to share their idealisms about several social issues through the internet. These issues include political as well as social issue-based topics that naturally raise questions in the society today.
Having the capability to express ones views on certain issues and have the chance to be heard by others around the world who are naturally interested in the same issues is such a huge privilege for people of the present generation. It is undeniable though that with this particular freedom of expression, many among the population of the human society today recognize that speech could be abused as long as it tells the truth. However, the measure of truth is differently presented depending on the views of the people involved in the issue.
Usually, the truth is measured by individuals through identifying how the situation that they are into actually relates to them. In this regard, the basis of the freedom that people particularly enjoy in using the different assets brought to them by the internet developments could be noted to have an impact on the social behavior of the entire human society with regards freedom and democracy. The demarcation line of what should be considered as limits of the process may not be that easy to identify anymore.
This is particularly the reason why so many fraudulent informations are flooding the territories of the Internet today. It is indeed undeniable though that although these informations are known to be fraudulent, there are those who cannot differentiate the substance of the issues presented through blogging and web postings on whether they are actually true or simply a misconception or opinionated views of several individuals wanting to affect the others with their idealisms in life or on certain topics of interest as they are.
Considering Jay Rosen’s comment on the issue, it could be observed that he pointed out an important fact in his article. He noted that democracy through internet measures may not be called democratic freedom as it is. At times, the situation goes out of hand and freedom becomes an unnerving result of abuse of speech.
Given your research topic, how are the discussions/ conversations/ commentaries different in the Internet than they are in some other media format? What kind of data would you need to determine whether these Internet conversations are connected to the public sphere in a way that improves (or damages) democracy?
Internet issue presentations are usually opinionated rather than based on factual evidences. This is because of the fact that there are numerous writers, both amateur and professional who are able to present their ides through the net. Most often than not, it is the ability of the people to concentrate on actually showing the people what position they particularly take in certain issues concerning the society that drives their motives of writing. Obviously, this process of presenting values of the events is a biased procedure of engaging with the different causes of the emerging issues on the increase of fraudulent information in the internet.
In terms of being authenticated, it is naturally obvious that internet based informations may not be easily noted to be reliable at all. This is because of the fact that the sources are not merely that easy to identify to say that they are indeed of high reputation to gain the trust of the reading public. Most of the time though, readers of the net have a hard time recognizing this particular fact in the systems of internet information sharing. Hence, they fall for the snare of believing even fraudulently presented issues through the assistance of the Internet’s worldwide connection.
To identify the validity of the informations, it is important for one to become balanced in viewing the bulk of informations shared through the Internet especially of the issues are based upon political topics. The idea herein is to actually assist the readers of the net in segregating the informations that they particularly meet with through the World Wide Web. How could this be done?
Conscientiously integrating the presentations on the web with that of the other media systems considering the topic could be a great help. It really makes it easier for one to have a better overview of an issue if the system is much more likely based on two different points of view. Balancing the informations received would then be more efficient as the issues are to be measured as to how they were particularly shown through the different mediums of media presentation.
Kerbel and Bloom’s study particularly points out that the increase of blogs and other internet based information posting never stops annually. The reason behind this increase perhaps is the fact that the people involved in these information posting also gain the confidence in presenting more and more opinionated informations which they would like to other internet surfers around the world.
Words are powerful. With the use of information exchange, there had been numerous changes happening in the world. The idea is that the more words become influential, the greater strength it begins to acquire upon the ability of the human mind to segregate the information that it receives. Most of the time, the said informations are either factual or not. However it may seem, it should occur that the factuality of the informations should always be checked for the validity of the informations presented on the part of the readers.
In the second question, based on research topic, after 9/11 world wide uprising tension; So now how media represents religion on the public sphere? are they use people sentiment?
Because of the current events occurring around the world, like that of the situation that happened in 9/11, gaining the sentiments of the people to be able to come up with measurable strategies of fighting the supposed “wrong deeds” of those who initiated the bombings has been the main idealism of the different blogs from both the American government and other social institutions during those specific times of turmoil.
Constantly seeing the vulnerability of the society to the situation has actually been the key reason why the opportunists saw the time as a basis of the basic approach that they are going to use to get the attention of the readers so as to persuade them in agreeing to the fight against the terror movements of the other side of the supposed “war”.
From this particular discussion, it could be observed that Internet has been considered as super highway of information during the 21st century. Overall, the evaluation of the informations presented through this particular route of informative issues shows that it has naturally given way to the major stratifying procedures of feeling the sense of freedom of speech even among ordinary people surfing the net. Several articles from professional writers attest to this particular fact as they are aware that there are those who simply would like to write while there are those who right for a reason. This is why it is very important for one to be aware and enthusiastic about what he reads from the net.
Cass R. Sunstein. (2007). Is the Internet really a blessing for democracy?. http://bostonreview.net/BR26.3/sunstein.html. (October 22, 2007)
Jay Rosen. (2007). In Democratic Time. http://bostonreview.net/BR26.3/rosen.html. (October 22, 2007).
Matthew R. Kerbel and Joel David Bloom. (2007). Blog for America and Civic Involvement. The Harvard International Journal of Press and Politics.