Disruptions of the Digital: Privacy, Civics, Democracy
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Digital communication offers unique dimensions for political engagement and deliberation. Over the past decade, digital technologies have become more advanced, while societies have been radically digitalised. Digitally manipulated interference with political public debate has emerged at a new scale and resulted in the disruption of democratic opinion formation. As a result, data breaches, governmental surveillance and digital commercialisation via globalised social media platforms have become central to scholarly debates.
'Invasive technification' interferes with all types of political debate. In 2019 we are undergoing a further scaling-up of interference of political debate, directly disrupting national democratic processes across the globe. These disruptions are combined with the loss of data control of platform monopolies and unregulated application governance. This has major consequences for individual digital communication between citizens, creating risks not only for users but also for the core domains of democratic nations, above all in the functioning of civic communication as core component of democratic governance.