the internet democracy and net neutrality
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The Internet, Democracy and Net Neutrality . Prof Shumow IDS 3309 2 /12/14. Internet and Democracy? . Say hello to Mosaic…April 22, 1993. Suddenly, the Internet was for everyone….

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Presentation Transcript
suddenly the internet was for everyone
Suddenly, the Internet was for everyone…
  • “With Mosaic, the online world appears to be a vast, interconnected universe of information. You can enter at any point and begin to wander; no internet addresses or keyboard commands are necessary. The complex methods of extracting information from the net are hidden from sight. Almost every person who uses it feels the impulse to add some content of his or her own. Since Mosaic first appeared…net traffic devoted to hypermedia browsing has increased ten-thousandfold.”
    • Gary Wolfe, Wired Magazine, 1994
and dot com mania was launched
…and dot-com mania was launched
  • Mosaic became Netscape
  • Netscape went public in 1995 at a value of $2.9 billion
  • And soon, all our dreams of endless access to useful, transformative information were realized –
political promise
Political promise
  • Many saw the Internet as a new tool for strengthening democracy
  • Citizens would be more informed, better organized, with greater rates of participation
  • Journalists would lose their monopoly on political reporting
  • The Howard Dean campaign, then Obama’s, the Tea Party, Arab Spring - all seem to prove them right
  • And the fall of George Allen showed the growing power of bloggers and video activists
not everyone was happy about sharing power
Not everyone was happy about sharing power…
  • “(I’ve spent) all of my life developing credentials to cover my field of work, and now I’m up against a guy named Vinny in an efficiency apartment in the Bronx who hasn’t left the efficiency apartment in two years”
    • Brian Williams, 2007
but wait not so fast
But wait, not so fast.
  • There are failures of the Internet that are not always acknowledged.
  • What exactly does it mean to say the Internet is “democratic”?
  • The assumption has been that the Internet will amplify the voice of ordinary citizens
  • But has the Internet really prompted people to become more involved in politics?
some reasons for skepticism
Some reasons for skepticism
  • The Digital Divide
  • Online politics simply reflects “real world” politics
  • The Internet is too fragmented – fewer opportunities for users to come together around an issue
  • No more gatekeepers? Or just a different set of gates? (Remember “Filter bubbles”?)
and what s all this fuss about net neutrality
And what’s all this fuss about “net neutrality”?
  • Better to let Comedy Central explain.
    • First, John Hodgman.
    • Then, Stephen Colbert .
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