Digital government doesn’t equal democratic government
The assumption that digital government will strengthen democracy is both empirically inaccurate and dangerous, and deserves much more scrutiny.
In 2006, Time’s person of the year
was “You,” published with the explanation “Yes, you. You control the Information Age. Welcome to your world.” The cover story reflected a relatively broad societal consensus a decade ago that the Internet and social media were vehicles of unstoppable citizen empowerment. Oh, how quaint this consensus appears today. Amid Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, digital misinformation campaigns, the decline of traditional media and the rise of a select group of tech firms as today’s information gatekeepers, it’s difficult to find anyone willing to associate the digital age with democratic empowerment. Digital government is one important exception.