There were those who foolishly believed the Internet would lead to a new renaissance for participative and inclusive democracy. The open environment of cyberspace would lead to a new exchange of ideas and new thinking in the political world.
Alas, as a long-time blogger and contributor to political forums, that simply hasn’t happened. There WAS a time when politicalbetting.com and sites like it were full of heated debate, passionate argument and witty banter.
No longer I fear. The occasional intelligent and thought-provoking contribution is washed away in a tidal wave of abuse and repetitive tedious rhetoric. Each and every day the same old people come on and spout their tired old clichés and prejudices and pick fights with the same old other people who argue the opposite and decry each other’s viewpoint.
To make matters worse, not only are the arguments stale and boring, they aren’t even original. The Internet and blogosphere is plagiarised and ravaged 24/7 by individuals seeking some more erudite support for their worn-out inadequate thinking. Articles in any way supportive of an individual’s viewpoint are either produced verbatim or selectively edited to support the viewpoint of the contributor.
This is no longer democracy, it’s a nerdocracy where intellectual rigour is replaced by a good search engine and original debate and discourse is abandoned for repetitive tribal insults and partisan flag-waving. It’s little wonder the same old tired individuals post day in day out, the rest of us have given up and gone elsewhere…
Those who run sites like politicalbetting.com and other similar forums are as much to blame. They sit back in the relaxing armchair of free speech and claim there’s nothing they can do. Nonsense.
It’s time to moderate, to censor if need be because the quality of the debate and the quality of our democracy is too important to be sacrificed on the altar of free speech for a few sad individuals.
The blogosphere was meant to be in the vanguard of the revolution of our democracy – let it be so !!