Lunes 15 de Julio de 2002, Ip nº 19

The Internet encourages the Americans' return to politics
According to a piece of research about the Internet's social impact, the net is empowering the American people's political activity. The study reveals that more than 23 million Americans are communicated with their representatives by e-mail, and other 42 millions visit frequently government's sites. Surprisingly, the interactive tools offered by the Congress, the White House and several offices are bringing people back to politics.

Do you think that the web site of the Congress of the United States can get more visitors than Pamela Anderson's personal page? Not long ago this would have sound ridiculous, but compared to the level of political participation during the last decades, the popularity of government sites is growing fast.

A recent study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, an organization dedicated to the analysis of the Internet's social impact (www.pewinternet.org/reports/pdfs/PIP_Govt_Website_Rpt.pdf), points out that 62% of American Internet users (the impress number of 68 million people), enter periodically the governments' sites. According to the study, titled "The growth of the e-citizens", this should be considered "a remarkable spirit of participation". The work also states that 23 million Americans have already established some kind of online contact with their representatives, in most cases to express opinion, make claims and criticise their performance.

Besides, the study adds something that will probably interest politicians: 14 million people declared using the web and government sites to gather information that help them decide who to vote for.

(...)

Six out of ten believe that these sites are essential to explain thier growing political participation, since they allow people to follow discussions closely, both in a federal and a local level.

(...)

Although these figures are impressive, they are part of an already registered tendency: it had manifested last year, when George W. Bush's administration received the fearful number of 110 million e-mails.

Translation by Carolina Friszman.


  27/06/2002. Clarín.com.


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