Может ли Интернет нанести вред демократии? — страница 3

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data banks will be operated by advocacy and interest groups. They would then donate to candidate’s data instead of money. The importance of such data banks would further weaken campaign finance laws and further strengthen interest group pluralism over traditional political parties.   But in particular, political data banks will maintained through what is now known as political consultants. They will establish permanent and proprietary permanent data banks and become still bigger players in the political environment and operate increasingly as ideology-free for –profit consultancies.   Even if the use of the Internet makes some political activity cheaper, it does so for everyone, which means that all organization will increase their activities rather than spend less

on them.[3][1] If some aspects of campaigning become cheaper, they would not usually spend less, but instead do more.   Thus, any effectiveness of early adopters will soon be matched by their rivals and will simply lead to an accelerated, expensive, and mutually canceling political arms-race of investment in action techniques and new--media marketing technologies.   The early users of the Internet experienced a gain in their effectiveness, and now they incorrectly extrapolate this to society at large. While such gain is trumpeted as the empowerment of the individual over Big Government and Big Business, much of it has simply been a relative strengthening of individuals and groups with computer and online skills (who usually have significantly about-average income and

education) and a relative weakening of those without such resources. Government did not become more responsive due to online users; it just became more responsive to them.   •                     The Internet will make reasoned and political dialog more difficult.   True, the Internet is a more active and interactive medium than TV. But is its use in politics a promise or a reality?   Just because the quantity of information increase does not mean that its quality rises. To the contrary. As the Internet leads to more information clutter, it will become necessary for any message to get louder. Political information becomes distorted, shrill, and simplistic.  

One of the characteristics of the Internet is disintermediation, the Internet is in business as well as in politics. In politics, it leads to the decline of traditional news media and their screening techniques. The acceleration of the news cycle by necessity leads to less careful checking, while competition leads to more sensationalism. Issues get attention if they are visually arresting and easily understood. This leads to media events, to the 15 min of fame, to the sound bite, to infotainment. The Internet also permits anonymity, which leads to the creation of, and to last minute political ambush. The Internet lends itself to dirty politics more than the more accountable TV.   While the self-image of the tolerant digital citizen persists, an empirical study of the content

of several political usenet groups found much intolerant behavior: domineering by a few; rude “flaming”; and reliance on unsupported assertions. (Davis, 1999) Another investigation finds no evidence that computer-mediated communication is necessarily democratic or participatory (Streck, 1998).   •                     The Internet disconnects as much as it connects   Democracy has historically been based on community. Traditionally, such communities were territorial — electoral districts, states, and towns. Community, to communicate — the terms are related: community is shaped by the ability of its members to communicate with each other. If the underlying

communications system changes, the communities are affected. As one connects in new ways, one also disconnects the old ways. As the Internet links with new and far-away people, it also reduces relations with neighbors and neighborhoods.   The long-term impact of cheap and convenient communications is a further geographic dispersal of the population, and thus greater physical isolation. At the same time, the enormous increase in the number of information channels leads to an individualization of mass media, and to fragmentation. Suddenly, critics of the “lowest common denominator” programming, of TV now get nostalgic for the “electronic hearth” around which society huddled. They discovered the integrative role of mass media.   On the other hand, the Internet also