Politics is increasingly taking place digitally. Politicians spread information or their opinions online. Citizens use the Internet to form an opinion, to submit petitions online or to demand digital transparency via platforms like.
What is digital democracy?
Digital innovation is radically changing democratic decision-making. Administrations are experimenting with apps for citizens, parties and governments with online platforms to collect opinions and ideas from citizens and to involve different groups in decision-making.
What does digitalization, which poses new challenges for people and businesses alike, mean for politics and our political systems? The technology could be used to legitimize the public sector and to inform and involve citizens. The term “digital democracy” promises participation, transparency and simplification of sometimes complex bureaucratic processes.
Most definitions address three key features of digital democracy
Digital information, for example through websites of parties and institutions, open data, online administrative procedures and consultations,
Digital exchange, for example through discussion forums, disseminating and commenting on political contributions, digital opinion-forming
Digital participation, for example through online petitions, digital surveys and digital citizen participation.
Challenges of Democracy in the Digital World
Communication and the public are essential aspects of the political system in all democracies. Originally, the Internet promised to revolutionize democracy by enabling inexpensive and straightforward communication and creating a public for everyone’s concerns. Social media were conceived as digital public places.
They offer users the opportunity to debate politics, find out about events, or mobilize and coordinate protests. One example of many is the 2019 mass protest in Hong Kong, which was convened by smartphones, inspired by hashtags and coordinated by social networks.
Digital networks are also an integral part of political communication.
Currently, hatred, sexism and conspiracy theories are unleashed on digital platforms, threatening to erode the common democratic values of our society. The danger of social media as a place of radicalization and disinformation is increasing. In particular through political advertising and discrediting the candidates standing before an election as well as through the dissemination of conspiracy theories on the Internet. The network is increasingly becoming a place of disinformation instead of information, a place of personalized content instead of an exchange of different thoughts where a few are loud and many are quiet.