46% of internet users say that using cmc allows them to get a better understanding of politics,25% say that using the internet gives them more political power and 20% say that using the internet gives them more input in to politics
Mr Blair has also engaged in a series of "online" events such as pod casts, e-interviews and the like in an attempt to engage more directly with voters without the media getting in the way.
“ The Internet fits within an overarching historical change that has occurred since the early 1970s when we first witnessed the marriage between politics and all sorts of media. Politics has increasing become a media-manipulation game”
Online communities can be targeted for political needs
Allows a broad range of computer-mediated formats (i.e., instant messages , e-mails , chat rooms )
Allows voters to view information about polictal parties
1/3 of Americans user cmc to find out about political news on the internet and pose questions to candidates
giving a voice to numerous groups and individuals that other wise wouldn't have access to any media
Gives interactivity to political parties
Access to political information (Hansards, press releases, newspapers, speeches, party policies)
ways to organise political demonstrations
ways to organise both at the grass roots level and globally.
Online petitions cans be created appealing directly to the government to change laws
Cheap and effective means for activists to communicate both globally and locally
Cross Border Relations
With conflicts going on around the world between neighboring countries communication between the two countries has become difficult for citizens of both sides, but with cmc they can communicate between countries using messages or message boards without having to risk injury crossing borders.
Since 1949 when the Chinese Communist Party came to power, the government has maintained tight control over the various forms and methods information is spread to its people. In some cases, postings have even led to arrests. Fu Lijun,37, an assistant professor at Xinxiang Medical College in Henan, was arrested in October 1999 for posting an article in a chat room detailing how Falungong could cure illness
Actions through politics
Jody Williams used email and the internet to successfully start a campaign against land mines in which 89 countries responded by banning land mines.
At the start of the iraq war more than 1000 websites were shutdown by cyber activists including military websites.
The campaign for Howard dean of the united states used political power and the internet to generate donations towards his campaign.
Other presidential campaigns fought over the internet
Bimber and Davis (2003)
2002 presidential election in South Korea
In 2004 parties and candidates used the Internet to effectively mobilize voters and to promote candidates' visions!
The features and why politics use internet
With the internet being an interactive medium it has become prominent in political campaigns because it is an interactive medium it can engage people and allow them to have a say where as other forms of media like TV don’t allow this.
In some ways, newer communication mediums (such as the Internet) may be revitalising citizen participation in political discourse
The internet gives every person that has it a voice whether they start a website or a petition to change a law there is always a part which is interactive and this can be good or bad as it is not just empowering for progressive groups.
Arguably this has altered democratic relationships between government and citizens and between citizens themselves.
Medias of CMC
CMC described as…
“ The use of a computer to create, address, route, distribute, or receive messages sent from one individual to another, from a group to an individual, from an individual to a group, or from one group to another group” (Murphy,1994)
The reason CMC is possible is because of the wide range of different medias that can be used
Looking at some different types of Political CMC, and why they are appropriate
During the War…
Only way soldiers could communicate with home was by letter
These letters were edited by higher powers, saying that any information that could help the enemy was taken out
Actually “Censored” to keep people back at home in the dark about the terrible conditions that soldiers had to endure
Soldiers had no alternative way of communicating with home, so people back in England knew only what the government wanted them to know
It would be almost impossible to censor something in this way, as everyone can have their own say on things.
On the BBC website, people are encouraged to leave their own comments about the web stories, in particular if they are present in a certain country, or at an event.
This means that the views of everyone can be heard, all with different perspectives
Blogs like these are know as “ Listservs ”, and are used by many websites.
These communication channels require people to participate in communication interaction in order to reach a wide audience. Visitors or readers need to create and facilitate a flow for interaction.
Quicker responses, compared to those in traditional media, are crucial to create meaningful flows of information
Medias for politics
Mailing lists have been used to help keep people up to date on different situations
During the 2004 U.S. presidential election, MOVEON, an
Internet grass roots social activist organization, was used to keep supporters up to date with what was happening, by regularly contacting the people who registered to a mailing list - (www.moveon.org).
This method proved to be a success, as it was seen to be personal, and supporters felt that they were kept “in the loop”
Personal home pages are a popular method of keeping people up to date
May not be seen as affective as other CMC methods, as a website may only be updated every few months
Even though the documents on web sites can be updated frequently, compared to old mass media, the presentation of these documents remains at the authors control
Changes because of CMC
Its not only computer based media that is affected by CMC.
Traditional media sources are now using computer based methods to reach a different audience
Newspapers now use websites to show stories, which, as with the BBC website, allow people to comment on and share their own views and ideas. They also allow for the use of video’s and other types of multimedia that aren't available in a Newspaper
Radio shows can now be listened to online at a later date, as well as being able to select a certain part of a radio show, so the audience is only listening to the part that interests them
Television is a very important political tool. It is believed that during the Kennedy/Nixon election, Kennedy won, because he came over much better on the screen that Nixon. Television now uses the internet to allow for anytime viewing, so the audience can chose when they want to view it
Institute for Politics Democracy and the Internet
Center for Technology in Government
Political Communication Resources
Democracy Resource Lists
DoWire - Democracies Online Newswire
Africa political room
Greenpeace Cyberactivist Community
Samoa Chat - Politics Board
Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe
Essential Information Mailing Lists
World Movement for Democracy
E-Democracy E-democracy comprises the use of electronic communications technologies such as the Internet in enhancing democratic processes within a democratic republic. One major obstacle to the success of e-democracy is that of citizen identification. For secure elections and other secure citizen-to-government transactions, citizens must have some form of identification that preserves privacy and maybe also one which could be used in internet forums. Another obstacle is that there are many vested interests that would be harmed by a more direct democracy. Amongst these are politicians, media moguls and some interests in big business and trade unions.
Digital Divide digital divide refers to the gap between people with effective access to digital and information technology and those with very limited or no access at all. It includes the imbalances in physical access to technology as well as the imbalances in resources and skills needed to effectively participate as a digital citizen. The digital divide may be classified based on gender, income, and race groups, and by locations. The term global digital divide refers to differences in technology access between countries or large regions of the world.
Digital divide worldwide
Canada : According to an Autumn 2007 Canadian Internet Use Survey, 73% of Canadians aged 16 and older went online in the 12 months prior to the survey, compared to 68% in 2005. In small towns and rural areas, only 65% of residences accessed the Internet, compared to 76% in urban areas. The digital divide still exists between the rich and the poor; 91% of people making more than $91,000/year regularly used the Internet, compared to 47% of people making less than $24,000. This gap has lowered slightly since 2005
China : China is the largest developing country in the world and therefore saw their Internet population grow by 20% in 2006 However, just over 19% of Chinese people have access to the Internet and the digital divide is growing due to factors such as insufficient infrastructure and high online.
Digital Divide Worldwide Cont.
Europe : A European Union study from 2005 conducted in 14 European countries and focused on the issue of digital divide found that within the EU, the digital divide is primarily a matter of age and education. Among the young or educated the proportion of computer or Internet users is much higher than with the old or uneducated. The study found that the presence of children in a household increases the chance of having a computer or Internet access, and that small businesses are catching up with larger enterprises when it comes to Internet access.
United States : According to a July 2008 Pew Internet & American Life report, “55% of adult Americans have broadband Internet connections at home, up from 47% who had high-speed access at home last year at this time ”. This increase of 8% compared to the previous year’s increase of 5% suggests that the digital divide is decreasing. However, the findings go on to show that low-income Americans’ broadband connections decreased by 3%.
Internet activism is the use of communication technologies such as e-mail, web sites, and podcasts for various forms of activism to enable faster communications by citizen movements and deliver a message to a large audience
Internet is the key resource
Example of early activism
Lotus MarketPlace: Households (April 10, 1990)
Software which contains name, address, and spending habit information on 120 million individual US citizens
Mass e-mail compaign was started
Over 30 thousand people contacted Lotus
Lotus issued a press release stating that it had cancelled MarketPlace
Hacktivism is "the nonviolent use of illegal or legally ambiguous digital tools in pursuit of political ends.”
defacements, redirects, denial-of-service attacks, information theft, web site parodies, virtual sit-ins, virtual sabotage and software development.
hacktivists are defacing government websites as well as web sites of groups who oppose their ideology
DoS: attack on free speech
Use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce people
Often for political purposes
Need media to show people what they did
Internet ideal media
huge audiences spread throughout the world
anonymity of communication
fast flow of information
a multimedia environment
Content of terrorist sites
History of the organization
History of activities
Details from leaders, founders and heroes
Information over their political and ideological aims
Current and potential supporters
International public opinion
How terrorists use the Internet?
Publicity and Propaganda
Recruitment and Mobilization
Planning and Coordination
Sunni Islamistic group
Founded between 1988 and 1990
Famous for assassination 11/9/2001
Many web platforms, but most got disabled
Speaker: Al Jazeera
Founded as news channel
Got famous through Osama Bin Laden
Many different channels and different languages
Many live streams
The potential of computer mediated communication for political structuration http://www.javnost-thepublic.org/media/datoteke/hacker-1-2004.pdf (accessed 09/02/2009)
The Internet and Political Communication http://www.craigbellamy.net/2006/06/24/the-internet-and-political-communication/ (accessed 09/02/2009)
You've Got Dissent!Chinese Dissident Use of the Internet and Beijing's Counter-Strategies Michael Chase, James Mulvenon; Rand, 2002
Emerson, J. (2005). An Introduction to Activism on the Internet. http://www.backspace.com/action/ (accessed 09/02/2009)
Arquilla, J. (2002). Networks and Netwars: The Future of Terror, Crime, and Militancy. RAND Corporation. Chapter Eight
Delio, M. (2004) Hacktivism and How It Got Here. http://www.wired.com/techbiz/it/news/2004/07/64193?currentPage=1 (accessed 09/02/2009)
Weimann, G. (2004). How Modern Terrorism Uses the Internet.
Knickmeyer, E. (2008). Al-Qaeda Web Forums Abruptly Taken Offline.