Internet double standard

Evgeny Morozov bangs his drum again questioning the democratizing power of the Internet. Though I find him overly reactionary, I do generally agree with Morozov. My original master’s thesis proposal was on the Internet as a propaganda tool for clerics in Iran. Morozov’s basic point over the past couple of years is that the Internet is just a tool, to be used for good or ill — with an emphasis on the ill. This article sums up his view once again, except he brings up an excellent point about techno-utopian bias that he dubs “orientalism-in-reverse”:

While we fret about the Internet’s contribution to degrading the civic engagement of American kids, all teenagers in China or Iran are presumed to be committed and engaged global citizens who use the Web to acquaint themselves with human rights violations committed by their governments.

Read the whole article and the comments. I follow Morozov’s blog and his writing in FP. Often I find his op-eds heavy in rhetoric and light on data, so I am looking forward to his book on the Internet and democracy, which will be released later this year.

Related: Evgeny Morozov’s TED talk

About Younghusband

Sir Francis Edward Younghusband (1863-1942) was a British explorer, army officer, military-political officer, and foreign correspondent born in India who led expeditions into Manchuria, Kashgar, and Tibet. He three times tried and failed to scale Mt. Everest and journeyed from China to India, crossing the Gobi desert and the Mustagh Pass (alt. c.19,000 ft/5,791 m) of the Karakoram mountain range in modern day Pakistan. Convinced of Russian designs on British interests in India, Younghusband proactively engaged in the nineteenth century spying and conflict over Central Asia between the British and the Russians known as the Great Game. "Younghusband" is a Canadian who has spent a number of years bouncing back and forth between his home country and Japan. Fluent in Japanese and English with experience in numerous other languages from Spanish to Georgian, Younghusband has travelled throughout Asia. He graduated with an MA from the War Studies Department at the Royal Military College of Canada, where he focussed on the Japanese oil industry and energy security issues. He has recently returned to Canada from Japan, and is working in the technology sector.
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4 Responses to Internet double standard

  1. His East German’s watching West German tv is thought provoking. Though I think television is, in terms of information, two dimensional (give and receive, stop.)as compared to the toobs three dimensions (give and recieve, repeat.)

    That aside the internet may be an avenue through which democratic movements can pursue political goals in a fashion but it’s hardly a democratic construct. Overall it’s an anarchy and as you scale down and look at it in “slices” it’s, at best, a constellation of autocracies.

  2. Pingback: The Internet as a Liberalizing Force? Think Again.

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