Internet activists push for greater democracy

November 25, 2009 By CIARAN GILES , Associated Press Writer

(AP) -- The Internet can be a powerful medium for politicians to get their message across but it is also a vital means for civilians to have a say in what politicians do, participants in a political conference say.

Andrew Rasiej, founder of the Personal Democracy Forum series, said tools such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube help people organize "in order to have an impact on the political process and to petition governments to be more responsive to their everyday needs."

Saturday's conference comes at a time when more and more people are using the to have their say. Examples include simultaneous global protests on climate change, democracy activists using in Iran and a French campaign against legislation that threatened to cut people's for downloading copyright-protected material.

Tom Steinberg, director of Britain's, said technology can succeed in more mundane matters, too.

He cited his FixMyStreet site, where people pressure local authorities to address complaints such as potholes and broken pipes - petitions he said might otherwise get lost in the bureaucracy.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: As opinions flow through blogs and Internet, political power relocates, diffusely

Related Stories

Twitter to scrap controversial suggested user list

November 16, 2009

(AP) -- Social-media site Twitter plans to scrap its hand-picked list of "suggested users" to follow after controversy erupted over the selection of people on the list, a company executive said Monday.

Fox CEO wants US to join France on Internet piracy

November 23, 2009

(AP) -- The chief executive of Fox Filmed Entertainment said Monday the U.S. should join France in cutting off the Internet connection of users who repeatedly download copyright-protected films.

Recommended for you

Dutch create world's largest man-made wave

October 5, 2015

In a country where most people live below sea level, studying the oceans is a matter of survival. Now Dutch scientists have created the world's biggest man-made wave in a bid to prepare for the worst.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.