Internet and Democracy

This week’s reading focuses on the impact of the Internet on democracy. With the widespread of Internet use, many issues are brought up concerning the good and bad effects which the Internet may cause. Just think about the time we spend on the Internet every day, it is not hard to find out how great influence the Internet could have on our daily life. Democracy is long-lasting topic here in the United States. From a developing country which was talked about in the paper with “authoritarian deliberation” displayed on web censorship, I have not really thought about what democratic issue the Internet could cause before I read the paper.

 From my personal view, the most outstanding advantage which Internet brings to us is to disseminate information, including word-of-mouth. To some extent, it helps to amplify the voice of the public. While the author is trying to say is that on the way of spreading public words, the Internet does not work as well as we expected it to be. The existence of Internet censorship and cyber attacks prevent some sensitive information from spreading, especially some political websites attacking military and government targets and even gay websites. Due to my background, I could verify it is true in the country where I am from. Information containing sensitive words  related to political events or some political figure could not be found on web. The governemnt has had those relevant sources under control. Even though some sources could be published at the first time, not after a long time, it will be removed or blocked. These things often happen in some countries without strong democratic systems. One result would be users turn to other websites which are not blocked for information. For example, as a Chinese Internet user, I can still get information blocked from some websites abroad. Even though some users do not have access to other websites, there are still some Internet users who saw the sensitive information before it was blocked. Then, these people became third party communicators. After all, there are too many channels users can make use of online, the government could not get through every corner of the Internet.  Since the globe is conveniently combined together due to the Internet, these situations could be relieved by the help of nongovernmental organizations. Joint efforts could be made in pursuit of a more democratic world.

Another possible result is that Internet censorship would be improved by mutual trust, including trust between Internet users and trust between the government and users. From government’s standing point, it doing this for stability of a society. As what Chinese government said, dissemination of some information could easily cause panic of the public or harmful to public stability. But once the public and government have more trust to each other. It may change the Internet to a place where freedom of speech could be put into practice. It sounds impossible till now, but we will see. .

Here is some links I found related to our reading.

This one is about the Internet censorship in China. It brough up the issue  why Google wanted to cease its operations in China and how it ended like.

Here is another link about “China defends internet censorship”. It is from BBC news. In the document presented by Chinese government, it stated the reasons why citizens cannot have access to these websites. 

I would say different countries have different regulations and different realities.  It is hard to say right or wrong.


August 29, 2010. Uncategorized. 4 comments.


Hello~ This is Xuerui, I am a 2nd year Master student in advertising. I am from China. About three years ago, I came to the United States as an exchange student in East Tennessee State University. The school is in a small town and people living there are so nice. I guess that’s where I started to love my life in US. Then, I was here in Gainesville as a graduate student. Three months’ summer intern in Beijing makes me feel advertising agency is where I really want to end up with. As  Ad folk,  new media is a field which we need to make good use of. That’s why I choose this class. I have never had a personal blog before, it is exciting to share my ideas with you and read sparking sources from you guys. Mindy, I like the platform you bring us to. ^_^

It is so nice to have you all in the class. Let’s work it out in the new semester! Again, welcome to my blog!!

August 27, 2010. Uncategorized. 4 comments.