Posted by: Pumelela Nqelenga on Aug 10, 2011
So I promised an e-democracy and e-government post today but it has occurred to me that I have spoken about this topic so I have resorted in going the opposite direction and in looking at internet dictators.
The internet has proved that it has the power to put leaders in power and also out of power.
We only have to look at the 2008 US election campaign to see how Obama gain so much support using the internet as his main campaign tragedy.
To look at a leader’s downfall thanks to the internet’s power to expose and eliminate, we should look no further than Mr Mubarak and how millions of Egyptians used the internet to expose their corrupt leader.
Thus it puzzles me, living in a democracy that we do not have free internet access or free cellphone internet when we have seen the impact the internet has in reshaping nations.
As a digital junkie, my biggest fear is to be shut out of the world where there is so much for me to learn and to teach.
In this digital era, we have developed that states boundaries have no say in whom we can communicated with globally.
That everyone has the right to share their story or their life internationally.
However a state that is bubbled as North Korea, people have no internet access and thus are shut from the world and other possibilities that different states offer.
‘Supreme leader’ Kim Jong-il, of North Korea is one of the few people in the country to have internet access alongside his government colleagues.
North Africa resistance.
Egypt clicked their finger in the name of liberation to tell the world that they had had enough of their dictator.
The sent their tweets and posted videos on Youtube about their problems to the world so that to show their hardship and why they were protesting and most importantly for help.
The world stood still when they were confronted by the brutality they saw in Libya when soldiers were hurting citizens as if they were state enemies.
For some time in Benghazi, there was no internet access for reporters to showcase the massacre being carried by soldiers since Libyan leader, Gaddafi refused for the world to see what was really happening in his country.
Yet at the end, with international pressure, the internet became a window where people could cry out for help and could express themselves globally.
We need to understand that the internet is a citizen’s weapon and shield towards leaders who are unjust and do not have the citizen’s interest at heart.
The internet has the capacity to put power in people’s hands so that power can be wielded to create a better future for all.