3 ways the Internet has made democracy better
The internet has come to stay in our lives, so has democracy too. The relationship between these entities has been significant in Nigeria and other democratic nations over the years. A lot of people are beginning to think of the internet as a democratic medium where freedom of expression is granted to the least person as long as they have access to internet service.
This is because there is little or no centralized control in these countries where freedom of expression is allowed. This in turn has made censorship over what is uploaded online and making it difficult to be controlled centrally.
Some of the ways in which the Internet has helped democracy are as follows:
- The internet has given the people a voice
The use of cheap and fast Internet services has given rise to mass communication through social media platforms, chat rooms, newsgroups, emails and others.
This has broken certain boundaries especially in traditional broadcast media, written letters and telephones.
People can now express themselves openly online, through aliases or anonymously about the government without fear of getting harassed or arrested thanks to home internet service. This has encouraged others to take part in matters concerning the government.
A few people are now called ‘social media influencers’ because their ideas are accepted by Internet users who ‘follow’ these people on various social media platforms.
- The internet has provided more information to people
The Internet, due to its massive digital network with little control, a wide variety of communication between people across the globe is achieved.
Democracy has partly become dependent on the Internet because it has become one of the major sources of information for many Nigerians.
The Internet has aided in the education of people about democracy, keeping people in line with daily happenings in the government. The 2015 general elections in Nigeria is a clear example of how democracy thrived with the help of the Internet.
The Internet was filled with advertisements from political parties and their opponents, generating numerous responses from both young and old citizens who couldn’t wait to cast their votes for whoever they thought was the right candidate.
Nowadays, the internet is the only place people look to for relevant information because it is easy to find user friendly information. People are likely to discuss and debate about politics online than anywhere else in this digital world.
Internet users get information about politicians online and in turn those vying for political posts can get both advice and constructive criticisms from citizens they interact with online. All these help in faster decision making by those in power and the people who are ruled.
The ability for those holding political posts to effectively communicate with the people is part of the beauty of democracy.
- The government is more transparent and held accountable
The Internet has opened the eyes of citizens who can boldly hold their government accountable due to transparency between the both parties.
Transparency has helped both the government and citizens understand each other and build a better, stronger relationship. This had led to effective governance and more voluntary participation from people.
The effect of the Internet on democracy has been effective in decreasing political corruption to a large extent and also the preservation of democracy. A very good example of this is the ‘Budget Padding Scandal’ that was exposed through Social Media
The world has been brought to political consciousness in terms of internal conflicts, activisms, revolutions, demonstrations when governance isn’t going right. The people’s call for accountability from their government is highly influenced by networking thanks to high speed internet. With your mobile wifi you can surf the internet on -the –go and get things done in real time.
The Internet has become a way for the world to learn the truth especially in un-democratic countries where traditional media is heavily censored.
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