Groupthink: Are we collectively ruining democracy?

Invited by Transparency International New Zealand, I gave a presentation titled 'Demons in our demos' for a Zoom gathering held on 29 July 2020, hosted by the University of Wellington as part of their leadership week. PDF of event description here. Are we collectively ruining democracy? Polarisation of thought and belief seems to be on … Continue reading Groupthink: Are we collectively ruining democracy?

Facebook’s Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) on Sri Lanka: Some brief thoughts

First reading Facebook released the company's Human Rights Impact Assessment for Sri Lanka today. At the time of writing, Joshua Brustein writing for Bloomberg has one of the first takes on the report, highlighting Facebook's apology for its role in Sri Lanka's violence. Commissioned by Facebook, the report was conducted and written by Article One. … Continue reading Facebook’s Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) on Sri Lanka: Some brief thoughts

Using Google Moderator to generate ideas on democracy

Launched in late 2008, Google Moderator is not well known in the domestic media community and even globally. Used during the last US Presidential election, Google Moderator is a powerful platform to generate and filter through large numbers of responses. As with a number of other examples on Groundviews previously, I'm testing this as a … Continue reading Using Google Moderator to generate ideas on democracy

First Monday features academic paper on Internet and Democracy

Perhaps it's Obama's Presidential campaign and interest in e-government that's fuelling a number of academic studies and articles on the impact of the Internet on democracy. I wrote about Evgeny Morozov’s Texting Toward Utopia: Does the Internet spread democracy? yesterday. Morozov's article ended thus, The problem with building public spheres from above, online or offline, … Continue reading First Monday features academic paper on Internet and Democracy

The Internet strengthening democracy?

Rarely does one find an article as sober and compelling as Evgeny Morozov's Texting Toward Utopia: Does the Internet spread democracy? published in the Boston Review. The article's echoes Smriti Daniel's conclusion in an article on Facebook activism in Sri Lanka published recently in Sri Lanka's Sunday Times, which ended by suggesting that "while it … Continue reading The Internet strengthening democracy?

Democratic governance and mobile phones

"Don't get grandma hear it" was what US soldier Stephen Philips was reported in the Newsweek as saying when his cell phone redialled home during a fire-fight in Afghanistan and broadcast the chaos into his parent's answering machine . Though it would have been traumatic for the parents of Stephen Philips, yet this is an … Continue reading Democratic governance and mobile phones

E-Petitions

There's an interesting article in the politics.co.uk that debates the rise of e-petitions in England, as well as its pros and cons. As it notes, The Hansard Society's eDemocracy programme director, Andy Williamson, spoke passionately about their importance in Westminster last week. He talked of "closing the gap between citizens and parliament" and described e-petitions … Continue reading E-Petitions

New media and networked communications environments

I received advance notice of what looks like an interesting meeting organised by International Media Support in Denmark that will be held on 15 and 16 September 2008 on the opportunities and threats presented by new media and networked communications environments for press freedom and democratization. As the IMS PR notes, This event will bring together civil … Continue reading New media and networked communications environments

Blogs and media censorship – Iran and Sri Lanka

"Given the repressive media environment in Iran today, blogs may represent the most open public communications platform for political discourse. The peer-to-peer architecture of the blogosphere is more resistant to capture or control by the state than the older, hub and spoke architecture of the mass media model." The very same could be said of … Continue reading Blogs and media censorship – Iran and Sri Lanka