Week 8 blog: The Fate of the state

To begin the blog, I want to show two relevant videos for this week’s topic: Government 2.0! First of all, what is Government 2.0? Is it similar to the idea of Web 2.0? It means government’s use of new media, especially digital and networked media. Also, it includes the idea of increased surveillance and control. However, does it actually affirm and increase the power of established forms of government?

The first video, which is a funny video saying ‘what does Government 2.0 can mean to everyone’, illustrates that Internet and software become tools for democracy as everyone online can have a say. Although this video just a personal opinion established in a funny way, it is also counted as some people’s thoughts. In my own opinion, I agree the idea in certain degree. Information on the Internet is hard to control, even for government. Once a piece of information being posted online, it will go viral around the world. For example, Australian government can only control the online users within the Australia region, but not users in other parts of the world. On the other hand, with the use of new media, government has more platforms to monitor their citizens and online information, which increase its power.

The second video explains that new media has changed the way politicians campaign. An example given in the video is Obama. As the president of America, he uses social media as a tool for administration (He has a Twitter account). It also reveal Government 2.0 is increasingly vital to politicians.

Both videos prove that new media, particularly social media has had a big impact on politics globally. In the article called ‘Against Transparency: The perils of openness in government, Lessig explores the idea of transparency and openness of government. In his opinion, transparency to a government means that the public is able to access to the current events (happenings) of that government. Citizens have the ability to share information with new media (social media), such as Facebook, Twitter , blogs etc. He then uses the example of the ‘Transparency projects’ of the US government to further explain how government uses new media to public information for citizens.

Like what the second video has mentioned above, politicians are now on social media like Twitter and Facebook updating their followers with everyday moves as well as their own thoughts. This discloses governments and politicians at a more personal stage, as people can read their personal opinions and thoughts rather than reading former news articles. Moreover, similar to other frequent social media users, politicians may also want to remain relevant to the news so that they may keep updating their social media information.

It is quite relevant to my research topic, which looks at the use of social media’s influence on politics, particularly the impacts of the use of Twitter on presidential election campaign these days. I think Government 2.0 is really useful for my research essay, and I think I can use this term to discuss the potential advantage/damage of using new media for politicians.

 

Reference:

Styles, C 2009 “A Government 2.0 idea – first, make all the functions visible’![http://catherinestyles.com/2009/06/28/a-government-2-0-idea/], accessed on 04 May 2014

Lessig, L 2010 ‘Against Transparency: The perils of openness in government.’
[http://www.tnr.com/article/books-and-arts/against-transparency?page=0,0], accessed on 04 May 2014

 

 

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