29 September 2010

Virtual Democracy

The online community is a democracy. Let's use blogging as an example. When we sign up to Google's blogger, we give up our natural internet sovereignty (could we not, in theory, create our own blogging platform and make our own rules?) and surrender it into the hands of the community, as Locke discussed in "Of Civil Government." So, online we have the same rights as any other individual online--we can read blogs and comment on them and even create our own blog as we choose (there are some exceptions, but they're insignificant).

How does this online democracy affect those in communistic nations? How does online democracy change their worldview? How do people living in exile (like the Tibetans in India) use virtual democracy to forward their cause?


  1. If it were only that simple. Countries like China and Iran cap the digital freedom of its people. During the election protests, the Iranian government cracked down on twitter and YouTube accounts. So, how free or democratic is the Internet?

  2. Mike, I agree completely. It almost seems that whatever the government of the country or region is, that is the type of internet those citizens get to experience. However, Kristen, I do agree that the internet does make democracy of information more readily available. Maybe one day the internet will be a TRUE democracy all over the world.

  3. My roommate from last year went to China this summer on Study Abroad, and she said that there were ways to get around the system and access "forbidden" sites without really getting into trouble. The only really taboo subject is criticizing the government, and as long as you didn't do that, online or otherwise, you were fine. People have access to a broad range of information, but can democracy really be complete without the freedom to criticize the governing body?