Internet and Democracy Essay

2924 Words12 Pages
Internet and Democracy Online activism and social media is a very effective tool for distributing information and organizing the masses, however no revolution or protest for democratic change is won by sitting idly behind a computer screen. Online activism is built on “weak ties”, therefore it lacks the leadership and commitment that is associated with real activism and this is exposed through the failure of Occupy Wall Street. However, the power of the internet is imperative in providing more democratic power to the people by distributing information to every nation, but this can also be mismanaged and hurt the people, as can be seen in the KONY 2012 campaign. In contrast, the success of real activism is represented by the Civil Rights Movement led by Martin Luther King Jr. and the Struggle for Indian Independence headed by Mohandas Gandhi, that achieved significant change because of the leadership and “strong ties” present in both campaigns. It is also important to mention, that the so-called success of social media in helping to organize Arab Springs is widely exaggerated. First, it is important to understand online activism as a tool rather than an end itself since it can never replace offline activism. The most common form of so-called online “activism”, also known as “Slacktivism”, is clicking like on a Facebook group for a cause or copying and pasting a post. Here is an example: All of us have thousand wishes. To be thinner, to be bigger, have more money, have a cool car, a day off, a new phone, to date the person of your dreams. A cancer patient only has one wish, to kick cancer's ass. I know that 97% of you won't post this as your status, but my friends will be the 3% that do. In honor of someone who died, or is fighting cancer, or even had cancer, post this for at least one hour. [Facebook Post] The fundamental
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