Internet and Democracy
The Internet has once been a doorway to the minority group or some people who is not authority, there are few examples mentioned by Morozov. E, and I make a summary down here:
- 1. Nationalist who published nationalistic materials online.
- 2. Pseudoscience posted videos online which banned from the school.
- 3. Comsumerist.com spoke up for the customers who had dissatisfaction.
(The Internet: A room of our own? DISSENT summer 2009 p.81,82)
Because of the easy access and the equality status of the internet, everyone here is the same as others, and each one of us could express our opinion just as we wanted. Well, I mean under the democracy, which we have the right to speak freely in public, the internet will be our best platform to present ourselves. There are several examples’ I think of back in Taiwan. I have seen time to time that Taiwanese students posted stories about the senior who are poor but hardworking just to raise their grandchildren or to feed the entire family. These stories were posted as” please forward this message and give her/him some help” through email or Facebook, and there was always a large respond. Just like another news broadcaster, people receive messages from each individual and not from the authority or printed, broadcasted media. This is a rise of the civil right, a rebel who is ready to stand up for fight, the internet empowers us to be a broadcaster of our own.
But there is something more interesting, if everyone was CNN, which one should I believe? There are some companies in TW hired “the writer” to sample their product for free only if they write feedbacks on their blog or Facebook. The writer could be anybody, even I was invited to write something. In this case, should I trust the information posted online? Or maybe those justice claims are just frauds? We will never know unless we really examine every data before it is published.
On the other hand, under some different politic system, people are being watched everywhere. I’ve never been to Burma but I did have a classmate come from there. She said that they strict prohibited people talking about the politics or allowed any voice oppose to the authority. As she got out from Burma and studied in TW, she was not able to come back home, if she did go back to see her family, she would not have a second chance to be educated aboard. Therefore it’s easy to imagine the harsh censorship of the internet in Burma.
We are definitely very lucky to have our free speech and to become part of the crowdsourcing in the internet dominate era, but it’s just in some cases. We still have to train ourselves the ability of distinguishing the truth and the bogus. There is an old saying in Chinese- If you believed in every word written in the book, you should not read one, in this case, we can say that- If you believed everything posted on the internet, you shouldn’t google it.