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The Changing Face of Electronic Aggression: The Phenomenon of Online Trolling within the Context of e-Participation in the United Kingdom

Shefali Virkar
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Shefali Virkar: Keble College, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

International Journal of Cyber Warfare and Terrorism (IJCWT), 2014, vol. 4, issue 4, 29-46

Abstract: Over the last two decades, public confidence and trust in Government has declined visibly in several liberal democracies, giving way instead to disillusionment with current political institutions, actors, and practices; rendering obsolete or inappropriate much of traditional democratic politics. Simultaneously, digital technologies have created huge opportunities for public bodies and agencies. In analysing the No. 10 Downing Street ePetitions Initiative based in the United Kingdom, this chapter engages with issues related to the innovative use of digital network technology by Government to involve citizens in policy processes and to buffer national security within existing democratic frameworks. The work examines whether the application of new digital platforms to participatory democracy in the Government 2.0 era leads eventually to radical transformations in government functioning and the body politic, or merely to modest, unspectacular political reform and to the emergence of technology-based obsessive-compulsive pathologies and trolling behaviours amongst individuals in society.

Date: 2014
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