Digital Politics

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As digital technologies expand along with their use new words, phrases and concepts emerge. One such is digital politics.

The phrase can have several meanings:

  • The use of digital media, especially social, to inform, persuade, unite, argue politically.
  • The politics of the internet itself. The power differential between service providers and users. Government policies. Censorship.
  • The ‘digital divide’. How far people globally and locally have access to the internet. How far digital literacy is developed.
  • Cyber warfare.
  • Funding of reasearch into the internet and its future.

In practice today, on may consider such intense issues as how benefit claimants are required to manage claims online and seek jobs. Or how people may be manipulated not only by ‘fake news’ but by unscrupulous commercial websites.

To gain a fuller understanding of the complexity of digital politics have a look at the freely available Handbook of Digital Politics

It is well worth pointing out that digital ‘anything’ is embedded in the overall political, cultural and economic structures of society. For instance, like ‘old fashioned’ literacy, digital literacy for young people cannot be expected to develop in only a classroom. The high number of adults (one in six in the UK) who have difficulty with reading and writing are not the products of poor schooling (although this may be a factor) but of much broader societal dimensions. Addressing these dimensions involves politics.

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