I’ve never published any political opinion online. But the current development worries me more than my political independence. Here we are at a crossover of political engagement and freedom of the Internet. The discussion is around statements such as “Facebook a threat against humanity and DEMOCRACY…” Democracy? What has it to do with Democracy? A lot — because FB is Democracy at work and some gentlemen in political ranks hate it — they hate it so much that they want to kill it at all cost. Conspiracy? That is the most straightforward answer to stop thinking that way — right? Facebook is the best mirror of Democracy anywhere — reason enough not to allow it in China… And wherever FB falls, Democracy falls.
So, What Effect Does Social Media Have on Democracy?
Samidh Chakrabarti, made a great statement: If there’s one fundamental truth about social media’s impact on democracy it’s that it amplifies human intent — both good and bad. At its best, it allows us to express ourselves and take action. At its worst, it allows people to spread misinformation and corrode democracy.
Yes, it does, and it does it very publicly. Moreover, we all can see what other people and bots are saying. It should help us understand that there are three types of people frustrated power-hungry people with the intent to ruin a nation, people with a different opinion within a nation, and an unfortunate majority that cannot differentiate between one and the other. So, therefore, we must keep everybody stupid and shut down Facebook? Wouldn’t it be wiser to stop keeping people stupid and elevate political education in each country?
We have more intelligent people than ever before
Instead of leaving the old power distribution as is, where a small number of families control the rest of a nation by rules they think are correct, we need to rethink Democracy. Otherwise, Democracy will fail (not Facebook), and there is no way to keep it alive. The current version of Democracy is where a few populists can steer up the masses and win an election. They eventually get elected by a population of which about 70% has no way of making an educated decision about who should run a nation. That 70% have no way of understanding whether the elected party has a good program for foreign policy, science development, health care, family safety, social regulations, law enforcement, business development, and about 20 other perspectives. The problem is not FACEBOOK at all — but the structure we have today. Democracy has not kept up with human development, human needs, growing technology, globalization, declining need for military protection, and our education system. One thousand years ago, we had a ratio of 1:10,000 leaders (Kings etc.) and followers (farmers and soldiers). This number is declining. Today we have no kings but presidents, generals, corporate leaders, opinion leaders, and more. This is a good thing for humanity but a bad thing for the old powerhouses.
Facebook is a key to Democracy.
All the above can be seen live — every day — on Facebook. It is a more significant threat for those in power who want to control the world than for the confused population. Why else is Facebook forbidden in the most prominent communist country? To protect the people from western influence — ha ha ha — there are millions of influential sources, and they are all open in China. NO — it’s the most democratic symbol for free speech and trains us to differentiate between one and the other. In every war, the first objects that are attacked are radio stations. Facebook is the radio station of the world that is an open channel — it does not create the messages. Those who see Facebook a threat to Democracy and humanity as a whole should articulate why and what the real threat is.