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Democracy gone digital

To the extent that they overcome the traditional tyranny of space and time, digital platforms are tools for democratizing participation. But their impact on citizen involvement varies considerably. Español, Português


Source: Pixabay, Public Domain.

This piece is an excerpt from an original article published as part of the eBook El ecosistema de la Democracia Abierta series, which can be found here.

Digital platforms are generating a societal impact regardless of whether topics of discussion are of production and consumption, political parties or social movements, public administration, trade unions, universities or mass media, seeing as their intergenerational and transcendental characteristics provoke an effect which creates a significant impact on society. 

Accordingly, online platforms have also transformed cooperativism and the collective digital space, as the very DNA of these types of initiatives are open code, innovation and public goods.

Examples such as Fairmondo, a virtual market similar to Amazon of German origin that is a digital cooperative owned by its own users who are also its shareholders, stand out.

Additionally, ‘Teixidora’, a digital democratic platform that collaboratively organises shared knowledge, generated in different spaces in conference, meeting, workshop formats related to technopolitics, also stands out.

This provides evidence of how these types of initiatives, originating from civil society, allow for an opening up to endless possibilities that from a technological dimension, are generating new key concepts that help us understand current processes of evolution, transformation and growth of societies.

However, the real impact of digital platforms on social and economic life is still being studied, as is the relationship between users and owners, who should govern data generated by these platforms, and the ends for which this information is used. 

In this way, we see how power relations in the age of society on the net are redefined and altered. A society in which the technological dimension becomes an inevitable and essential development, especially when the matter is of democracy.

About the authors

Ricard Espelt es investigador en el Programa de la Sociedad de la Información y el Conocimiento del Internet Interdisciplinary Institute de la Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) en Barcelona, colaborador del grupo de investigación Dimmons de la misma universidad y consultor y coordinador académico en Ideograma

Ricard Espelt is a researcher at the Information and Knowledge Society Program from the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) in Barcelona, a contributor to the research team Dimmons at the same university and a consultant and academic coordinator at Ideograma

Mònica Garriga es miembro del Free Knowledge Institute e impulsora de Es Máster en Comunicación en RMIT (Melbourne, Australia) y licenciada en Derecho por la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. 

Mònica Garriga is a member of the Free Knowledge Institute and a promoter of She holds a Master Degree in Communication in RMIT (Melbourne, Australia) and a Law Degree from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. 

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