Political participation via the Internet

This video illustrates how politicians are dependent on social media to communicate and influence people’s interests and actions. For example, Barack Obama has signed up for Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Spotify and Instragram. This personal activity in social networks allows Barack Obama to quickly get the word out across multiple platforms and that is the key that political participation via the Internet wants to achieve (Web Trends, n.d., para. 4).

Other political action groups who want to send out a message worldwide to influence people and increase support about a specific issue can also use the Internet to quickly raise awareness. For example, StopACTA.info (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement), this agreement aims to establish an international legal framework for targeting counterfeit goods, generic medicines and copyright infringement on the Internet.

Web Trends. (n.d.). How Barack Obama Is Using Web 2.0 to Run for President. Retrieved from http://webtrends.about.com/od/web20/a/obama-web.htm

Social Networking Is Revolutionizing Politics [Video] (2010). Retrieved from http://youtu.be/9DtTTB-Njgk

Stop ACTA Today! [Video] (2012). Retrieved from http://youtu.be/cH-RweAOGjQ

Should the Government censor the Internet?

The Australian Government has announced it will proceed with controversial plans to censor the internet for all Australians by introducing a legislation to force Australian Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to filter the Internet, to block access to websites that would be “Refused Classification” under Australia’s classification laws. This so called ”blacklist”, featuring material such as child sex abuse, sexual violence and instructions on crime, would be compiled using a public complaints mechanism, Government censors and URLs provided by international agencies (Moses, 2009). Now, this sounds great doesn’t it? The Government takes actions against all criminal groups and prostitution in our society.

The problem is, will it stop these kinds of people? And what about the rest of the society that actually never logon to these kinds of websites classified in the “Blacklist”? Introducing this legislation will waste tens of millions of taxpayer dollars and will not make anyone safer. For example, the way people distribute illegal child sexual material is not always through the Internet but can be in peer-to-peer networks, where the greatest majority of material is traded (No clean feed, n.d., para. 2).  By introducing Internet censorship legislation, the Government will increase their control over society. What happens if they go even further and start banning social media networks to make the society safer? There are always different ways for people to get around it and we live in a democratic society and not in a dictatorship, such as China where Facebook actually is banned.

Moses, A. (2009, December  15). Internet censorship plan gets the green light. The Sydney Morning Herald, Retrieved from http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/internet-censorship-plan-gets-the-green-light-20091215-ktzc.html

No clean feed. (n.d.). Stop internet censorship in Australia. Retrieved from  http://nocleanfeed.com/