This week’s readings talks about how much power digital communication tools have on society. More specifically Karpf and Glaisyer mainly focused on talking about political activism and collective action based on using digital tools. These communication mediums can be used to create movements and organize a group within a society to let citizens become active within their government, but this also depends on what type of governmental structure the country is organized because this can determine how effective digital communication tools can be to the people.
Karpf mainly talks about measuring how successful political campaigns end up being when they are digitized in a social networking environment. He measures how often people use digital communication devices as a source of political action for the campaign and then also measured how successful the campaign was. Karpf used Youtube as an example of where political campaigns gather and how the success of political campaign on the Internet doesn’t necessarily mean the campaign was a success it just means it was successfully exposed to many. In conclusion digital communication is given more credit than it deserves in how many people it can affect.
Like Karpf, Glaisyer talks about the empowerment of digital activism but sheds a different light. Glaisyer talks about what happens when digital activism and governance become intertwined and the different outcomes that we’ve seen in history as example to further his points. He talks about open and closed governments (democracy vs. authoritarian) and how both types of governmental structures can either adapt to digital communication tools and digital activism or cannot and what each of these governments do with this political “collective action” by the people. Naturally, living in a democratic society where digital communication is a party of my everyday life, the section on open democratic societies didn’t interest me as much as the section on Repressive Authoritarian Societies. Closed societies such as Iran and China have adapted to digital technology but when its citizens form activists groups digitally, the government does everything in their power to repress any form of activist actions by keeping surveillance on its citizens web browsing and shutting down any “red flags” that may catch the governments’ eyes.
As much as social networks are helpful to user in open governments, do the same social networks help closed governments, and in what way make their usage different from each other? Also, the Internet is taking over how citizens gather their political information not just through news sites but mostly blogs, social networking and interactive sites, is this making citizens too dependent on the web? How can this be different from an open government and a closed government?