Digital democracy, also called internet democracy or e-democracy is the use of technology to get eligible members of the society to participate equally in policy formulation processes.
The concept of internet democracy was not developed to favor or to hinder any existing set-up in the society.
There are several benefits attached to internet democracy.
As the growth of the internet is on the rise, this entry of digital democracy is expected and something that is unavoidable.
But since our society and the existing conditions are ran in a certain manner, some concepts of E-Democracy might cause some disruptions.
This will totally depend on the existing environment set-up.
Hence there are chances where this will keep changing in the future.
Let’s discuss some of the impacts internet democracy would make in governance. Both the merits and the demerits.
The Advantages of E-Democracy
When there is internet democracy, people will be free to express their views without the constraint of a location.
This will be highly helpful for physically challenged individuals.
One of the reasons for low voter turnout is the problem with polling unit accessibility.
It is usually difficult for individuals with disabilities to have access to voting because of the inconvenience this may bring along.
Especially in the situations surrounding elections, the role of internet democracy will be crucial.
If there is an option given where individuals are able to place their votes online, then businesses would not be affected and every one would vote at their own pace.
When digital democracy is in place, everyone would be more convenient to participate in the decision making and some other aspects of development in governance.
And for citizens exercising their franchise during election, this will surely increase voters’ turnout.
E-democracy would also help in reducing the cost to hold an election because several resources will be reduced.
This will not only save money and time, but will also reduce the strain on human resources.
due to this benefit, running an organization will be much easier.
When there is internet democracy, there will be more reach for information.
Numerous resources and information will be available online which can be made use of.
This will encourage the start of new forums where there is participation on both sides rather than a usual dictatorship.
In cases of need and social causes, a huge impact can be achieved with internet democracy.
Since everyone is connected digitally these days, starting a campaign or conducting a movement in this forum will have a significant reach.
This will help in reducing the number of layers in the political forum.
It will help the people get their message to the top authorities much easier, breaking the numerous authority levels.
E-democracy can also help preventing electoral violence.
When political party members realize the voting may not end in their favor, they result to political conflict to disrupt the process.
This is the major cause of violence on any election day and internet democracy can make elections to be peaceful.
The Disadvantages of E-Democracy
During elections, the voting process is conducted in the poll booths where there is a severe security in place.
This ensures that there are no malpractices happening in the poll booths.
But, if the voting starts to take place online, then there are chances where the voting process can be corrupted.
With hackers in place, the results of the online voting can be altered.
Since there are no security features compared to the level of physical booths, the authenticity of the process becomes a question.
When there is a social movement happening, it involves people coming down physically to the location and taking part in the movement.
In these kinds of movements, the feel and the emotions are high.
When there are movements conducted in online forums, it might not have the same emotional feel which will hinder the success rate and the effectiveness of the entire cause.
Even in this digital world, there is a huge population which is digitally challenged.
By bringing in the internet democracy, this part of the population will be at a major disadvantage.
They will lose out on every happening and will not be able to take part in relatable events.
It is easier to spread fake news online with internet democracy.
It is even easier to start a fake movement with unhealthy motives.
Whether it is for terrorism or religious clashes, the internet can be used as an open forum to motivate people in the wrong way.
Since the internet consists of millions of people, the voice of every individual will be lost in the crowd.
People will not be able to express their individual views and get the proper response to it.
The voice of the crowd will drown the individual responses, ending in unwanted debates.