Digital and social media technologies are transforming democratic society. But even as technologies changes how we do things, they reproduce old problems in new forms. Hacking, trolling, micro-targeting, and the monopolization of public and semi-public space by large firms present the same sorts of challenges that democratic societies have been dealing with for decades. The difference today is that digital versions of these practices of exclusion, exploitation, and manipulation are backed by greater speed, reach, volume, and force than before. The digital realm has also lowered both the difficulty and risk of influencing public discourse in dishonest and untransparent ways, whether it be through armies of fake accounts on social media or the capacity to infiltrate state and private servers and accounts to steal information.
The importance of the recent sea change in American public opinion on marriage equality is likely lost on many Canadians.
Canada has been on the cutting edge of marriage equality and a leader in protecting the fundamental rights of the LGBT community. Now 10 years since marriage equality was legalized here, the tide is turning in America.
The federal government sees the public isn’t interested or engaged in its controversial elections overhaul bill and is using that to “demotivate and demoralize” political opponents, says Jamie Biggar, executive director of Leadnow.
Asked what could be done to mobilize the public against Bill C-23, Mr. Biggar suggested that Democratic Reform Minister Pierre Poilievre (Nepean-Carleton, Ont.) recently “lied” when he said that only academics and journalists, but not the general public, oppose the legislation.
This article originally appeared in the Hill Times.
Social media is today one of the most important ways to communicate a message in politics, as political communication in the modern era is a “two-way conversation” and information has to be provided to people where they are and in a way they could offer their feedback, says a former top communication adviser to U.S. President Barack Obama.