Technology’s impact on democracy: between positive results and added difficulties

By Dmitriy

First of all we need to understand that technology which includes digital communications and social media are a huge part of democracy. Moreover democracy fostered the emergence and use of technology.

Nowadays there are more opportunities for people in European countries to participate in government processes and political life thanks to social media. We are becoming more informed. At the same time social media and other types of digital communications are actively being used by European politicians as it enables them to communicate with a society and discuss possible solutions for a particular issue. In this case technology has a positive impact on democracy in Europe because it is a platform that creates possibilities for more open and progressive society.

On the other hand we should not overestimate the positive impact of technology on democracy in Europe because social media is not only used for positive purposes. Anti-democratic forces such as terrorist groups, far-right political parties or other extreme groups also take an advantage of technology. They use digital technologies in order to undermine democracy in Europe through spreading their ideas and try to manipulate society.

Another problem is regarding information that is being delivered through usage of social media. For example the more people use technology the more information they get and therefore more possibilities for being misinformed. We have all heard that Russia might use social media in order to influence electoral outcomes UK, Ukraine and Germany. We do not know the truth but the fact is that currently they are possibilities for government of other states to influence such huge and important events as elections in European states. Before the age of digital technologies it was hard to imagine that it could happen.

So as we see from the evidence, technology definitely has a positive impact on democracy in Europe but at the same time it has transformed into something more complicated. As we can also ask what effect is democracy having on technology? Because the more a European country is democratic, the more it uses technology, and thereby the more negative consequences it can have.

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