Participatory paradise

Digitisation is changing the possibilities for democratic participation. New digital tools provide hope for more direct participatory procedures, but how can we use these new technologies in a way that encourages democracy? On the one hand, we need these digital possibilities for participation, but on the other, citizens’ internet awareness must also be honed. What digital offerings does the state provide for citizen participation? How do participatory tools created by civil society work?

Yet these new participation possibilities also pose risks: we hear about manipulation and abuse almost every day. Social bots influence online discussions and create a confused decision-making process through a “majority illusion” with sometimes dramatic results. In the worst case, participation gets turned on its head and instead of being asked for their contributions, citizens’ data is exploited for observation and control.

Participation – A Paradise?