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The moderator as an emerging democratic intermediary: The role of the moderator in Internet discussions about public issues

The moderator as an emerging democratic intermediary: The role of the moderator in Internet... A common approach towards the role of the moderator in Internet discussions is to see him as a filter. In this article I want to show that the moderator in government-initiated Internet discussions about public issues can be seen as a democratic intermediary, and that this role has the potential to enhance the quality of those discussions as forms of deliberative democracy. I develop a conceptual model of the management of Internet discussions. Five cases of Dutch Internet discussions about public issues are analyzed. The filter function of moderation appears to be of minor importance. Moderators do a lot more. They manage discussions. Particularly, they contribute to the interactivity and openness of discussions and to the accessibility of public administration and institutional politics. In most of the cases described, there had been independent, `third party' moderation. As governments gain more experience with the Internet, moderation may shift to governmental agencies. In this perspective, it is important to stress the transparency and to care for the negotiableness of moderation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Information Polity IOS Press

The moderator as an emerging democratic intermediary: The role of the moderator in Internet discussions about public issues

Information Polity , Volume 7 (1) – Jan 1, 2002

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Publisher
IOS Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 by IOS Press, Inc
ISSN
1570-1255
eISSN
1875-8754
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

A common approach towards the role of the moderator in Internet discussions is to see him as a filter. In this article I want to show that the moderator in government-initiated Internet discussions about public issues can be seen as a democratic intermediary, and that this role has the potential to enhance the quality of those discussions as forms of deliberative democracy. I develop a conceptual model of the management of Internet discussions. Five cases of Dutch Internet discussions about public issues are analyzed. The filter function of moderation appears to be of minor importance. Moderators do a lot more. They manage discussions. Particularly, they contribute to the interactivity and openness of discussions and to the accessibility of public administration and institutional politics. In most of the cases described, there had been independent, `third party' moderation. As governments gain more experience with the Internet, moderation may shift to governmental agencies. In this perspective, it is important to stress the transparency and to care for the negotiableness of moderation.

Journal

Information PolityIOS Press

Published: Jan 1, 2002

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