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Deliberation In The Internet
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Deliberation In The Internet


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Deliberation in the Internet – how to secure the privacy and moderate without censorship?

Deliberation in the Internet – how to secure the privacy and moderate without censorship?

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  • 1. Seminar Watchdogs - Working Out Credibility Association of Leaders of Local Civic Groups & Stefan Batory Foundation Warsaw 26th - 27th of March 2009 Deliberation in the Internet – how to secure the privacy and moderate without censorship Simon Delakorda Institute for Electronic Participation (INePA) Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • 2. Starting questions  When should NGOs establish and facilitate deliberative internet public debates?  What are the necessary communication principles and rules (on-line moderation vs. censorship)?  How to secure legitimacy, accountability and inclusiveness of debates?  Which are privacy issues for citizens and NGOs participating in internet based debates?  How to ensure that policy-makers will include results from internet debate into adopted legislation?
  • 3. Why bother with Internet public debates?  When is necessary to establish an open space for exchanging and sharing opinions regarding public issues among citizens (e-debates).  When formulating experts and interest groups contributions to a policy or legislative proposal (e- consultations).  Benefits for NGOs: visibility, legitimacy, transparency, openness, participation, interactivity and content.  Challenges for NGOs: technical expertise, digital exclusion, additional (financial) resources, passive citizens, government & media ignorance, facilitation and moderation.
  • 4. Internet debate moderation vs. censorship  Active and passive moderation  Relevant issue selection  Starting questions  Following discursive ethics standards  Focusing debate and archiving inappropriate messages (not deleting them)  Time frame  Additional information and web links  Debate report
  • 5. Legitimacy, accountability and inclusiveness of internet debates  No restrictions regarding participation  Participation of both internet users and non-internet users  Registration with name in surname (?)  Involvement into policy-making process or public opinion formation (motivation for participation)  Involvement of decision-makers (feedback)  Non-biased moderators reports  Consensus among participants on final report  Follow up (policy evaluation)  Are numbers important? (participatory legitimacy vs. representative legitimacy)
  • 6. Privacy issues for citizens and NGOs  Registering with “real” name and surname  Identity manipulation  E-mail database management  Personal data protection legislation  Who is responsible for hate speech and flaming?  How relevant and accountable are contributions from anonymous users?
  • 7. Including results of Internet debate into adopted legislation  Secure obligation from decision-makers that the official feedback will be provided (at the start up)  Non-biased and professionally prepared Internet debate report  Expert follow up (policy evaluation and informing participants)  Media promotion  General impression (technical implementation, quality of debate, level of moderation, connection to live events, overall professionalism, etc).
  • 8. Conclusions  Internet ultimately is a democratic tool and we have to perceive it as such in order to use it for identifying, deliberating and implementing public interest.  The present socio-political conditions are not favouring full implementation of deliberative potentials of the Internet.  Examples and cases of good practices overcoming those limitations are there for crucial!
  • 9. Thank you very much for your attention! Institute for Electronic Participation (INePA) Povšetova ulica 37 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia Tel.:+386 41 365 529