You are here

Jeff Pachoud/Getty Images via Wired
Virtual collaboration may have short-term benefits. A virtual Congress would keep elected representatives closer to their voters and further from lobbyists.

The Dangers of Moving All of Democracy Online

Writing for Wired, Marian Fourcade, Visiting Professor in the School of Social Science, considers the role of technology in democratic politics in the age of coronavirus:

"Democratic politics is a mixture of mass involvement and endless meetings. All this is hard when people can be infected with a potentially deadly virus if someone simply coughs nearby. The obvious answer might seem to be to move democracy to the internet, but some parts of democracy translate badly to an online world, while others are already being undermined by emergency powers (for example, Hungary’s parliament just passed a law that allows the prime minister to rule by decree) and by the rise of digital surveillance.…

As we try to protect democracy from coronavirus, we must see technology as a scalpel, not a sledgehammer.

Until we can secure digital voting systems, we shouldn’t use them … the problem isn’t just that such systems might be particularly vulnerable to hacking, but that they make it easy to destabilize public confidence in voting outcomes."

Read more at Wired.

April 19, 2020