Democracy House Conversations: The Internet and Democracy

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Democracy House Conversations Presents:

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Featuring special guest speaker: YOU!

In this conversation you will reflect on the utopian hope for the internet, discuss its disappointing reality, and share ideas about its potential to deliver a better democratic future.

The conversations will be inspired by the thoughts, reflections, and wisdom found in some of the materials linked below, such as:

  • “Politics is about solving today’s problems with yesterday’s solutions” – Marshall McLuhan
  • The internet ‘disinhibits’ respectful behaviour through anonymity and detachment
  • Democracy is about persuading and being persuaded, reaching a consensus – and then we vote!
  • The internet ‘disinvites’ respectful conversations through cancel culture
  • The internet can organise protest – can it organise progress?

The only preparation you need is to be ready to speak respectfully and respectfully listen, but if you want to take a dive into the Conversation topic, grab some popcorn and watch, listen or read about the internet and democracy.

We hope you can join us for what will be an amazing conversation of exploration, sharing and learning. Register now!

Background information: Internet | Democracy

Not required, but definitely food for thought for our conversation on Jan 26th.

These links represent the tiniest fraction of what a web search will offer but we think they sketch a good outline for a fun and informative evening.

Click the title link or copy and paste into your browser.

The law that helped the internet flourish now undermines democracy

John Naughton provides a backgrounder on the 26 words that created the internet. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which was then incorporated in the sprawling 1996 Telecommunications Act (USA), created the liability shield for the social media we know today.

John Naughton | The Guardian | 2m read


The Internet’s Effect on Democracy

Michael Ignatieff reflects on the disinhibition of normal behaviour on the internet

Michael Ignatieff | CCEIA/You Tube | 3m 20s video


Freedom of Expression and the Threat to Democracy

Fareed Zakaria reminds us that the problem isn’t “them”, it’s all of us.

Fareed Zakaria | CNN commentary | 3m 59s video


The Internet could damage democracy, says its creator

Sir Tim Berners-Lee laments the mass centralisation of what was supposed to be decentralised

Sir Tim Berners-Lee | Sky News/You Tube | 2m 56s video


How to upgrade democracy for the Internet era

Pia Mancini asks the question ‘If the internet is the new printing press, what is democracy for the internet era?’, and shares her teams efforts to build an answer with a Democracy App that is guided by the idea that ‘Democracy is about persuading and being persuaded, reaching a consensus…and then voting’.

Pia Mancini | Ted Talks | 13m 28s video


Digital Social Innovation to Empower Democracy

Audrey Tang shares how Taiwan is leveraging the internet and technology to embrace and enhance democracy through social innovation, by redefining and repurposing the technical as people-centric in pursuit of well-being and the greater good.

Audrey Tang | Ted Talks | 17m 34s video


For additional Background links Click on Access Event Button (upper right)

About Democracy House:

Democracy House is a new Canadian-based group dedicated to the promotion of democracy and respectful political debate. We are a grass-roots movement dedicated to preserving and strengthening democratic systems and practices in Canada and around the world. We believe that democracy must be owned and defended by all people all the time in order for it to survive and thrive.

Through a range of activities, events and platforms, Democracy House strives to encourage meaningful discussion and debate, provide educational opportunities, and promote respectful dialogue in both non-partisan and multi-partisan environments.

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