Thursday’s Big Idea
The Politics of the Internet
Who will determine the future of the internet?
As a society, we're still trying to grapple with the political implications: for example, is internet access a human right? Who should regulate it, and how? Is the Internet inherently democratic? And is it "left" or "right"? Big Think contributor Peter Saalfield scrutinizes Karl Rove's claim that the internet is making people more libertarian. True, Silicon Valley is one of the key sources of funding for the libertarian party, he says, but the Internet is not an ideology, it's a tool, and to get lost in an argument over whether the Internet has a partisan bias is to miss the point. "The potential of digital technology is to give people of all points of view a platform for their views"--a platform, and a community.
Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales argues that as online censorship becomes increasingly sophisticated, it continues to limit the possibilities for people, governments, and economies. Dominic Basulto objects to the very idea that the internet is lawless terrain in need of government control.