Governments around the world have been putting forth efforts to stop the free and easy flow of information on the internet. Most of these governments are responding out of fear. The internet has been an easy way to voice dissatisfaction with the government and is what many dissatisfied citizens use it for. However, many people now believe that trying to slow the flow or edit the internet will only set society back, especially given the speed that technology is moving forward.
“An informed society is one where citizens have the resources, education and skills to access and participate in the free flow of reliable and pertinent information. They do this through a diverse range of platforms and media organizations that empower them to make considered decisions about their economic, social and political lives. And we take it as a given that in a knowledge economy and an age of networked intelligence, better-informed societies are more successful.
But this is a time of information turmoil. Many traditional media organizations are struggling. Scores of newspapers have gone out of business in the United States alone in the last decade. Magazines, radio, non-fiction book publishing and even television are all in various stages of upheaval. The media of the industrial age is changing.
Allowed to flourish, new media technologies offer the promise for societies to be better informed, more open and more successful than their industrial age counterparts. People in many parts of the world have unprecedented access to data, information and knowledge. They can inform themselves through collaboration like never before. People by the millions can contribute useful knowledge for everyone to share (as in the case of Wikipedia). Observers of street violence can document it and inform the world as citizens did during the 2007 post-election riots in Kenya.”
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