Politics And The Internet

Communication is an absolute necessity in the world of politics. Huge amounts of campaign dollars are spent on printed flyers, letters, TV and radio spots and websites. In terms of internet use by politicians, a single campaign ad on any of the major internet browsers can literally monopolize entire web pages. Politicial news blurbs already clog many browser sites with day-to-day information about before and after enacted legislation as well as responses to political speeches. This type of political arena attracts political polls that require public input. This tends to reduce internet users' attention on other areas such as marketing and new product reviews.

Politicians and The Internet

One of the most likely scenarios for the internet is the banning or monitoring of certain types of internet communications or websites. This action could start a back and forth war between politicians who presently hold office and their opposition who may regain control of governance at a later date. Politicians cannot avoid partisanship. Partisanship is the essence of politics. Because of this, politicians could heavily influence internet activities according to political ideology, i.e., conservative vs. liberal. Many internet users prefer the basic format of this medium to remain politically unbiased and without specific ideological bias.

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The Internet - The World Of Data

Politicians prefer to expand their voter base to insure a successful campaign. The internet provides easy access to an enormous number of voters and allows candidates to furnish background information on an up-to-the-minute basis. The downside to reliance on the speed of communication is that politicians could also use the internet to create more severe divisions between parties based upon flawed poll responses from their constituents. The internet is a world of data which to the present has been generally free in format. With the use of SEO the impact for voters may be skewed or misrepresented data. In the future, this could lead to whole campaigns taking place via the internet.

Internet Politicians

It is more than conceivable that in the future politicians will rely heavily on their internet popularity. The problem with this is that the politician's website represents a single politician rather than a complete partisan effort. Thus, each politician becomes a more autonomous entity rather than a full partisan initiative.

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Politicians have the power to create or adjust internet policies as well. Most internet users assume the internet has no central authority. The inaccuracy in this is that politicians can and do have the ability to establish internet policies by shutting down certain websites they find objectionable or in some way a threat to national security. The boundaries of this power can easily be stretched to include the biased views of particular politicians who wish to inhibit a full range of choices in elections.

In addition, whenever politicians become more focused on internet activities, the tendency is to circumvent freedom of choice by internet users. The choice of which internet activity a politician finds acceptable becomes far more limited. Issues of morality, family values etc generally are defended as a purposeful reason to adjust or limit certain websites. As a result, the ability of mature-minded individuals to select internet activities of personal interest is seriously inhibited. Adults prefer to make their own choices rather than allow politicians to make choices for them. In this way, politicians become internet "police" who can prepare various pieces of legislation that removes ability to freely view websites on the internet. This makes it easier for politicians to also collect data on internet users who frequently visit certain websites with the intent to judge viewing habits.

Do you agree? Or disagree? Email me on marples (at) poligeeks.co.uk