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How Technology Is Changing The Face of Politics

– Contributed content –

12 January 2018. Technology has always had much more potential than most people realize. While many think of it as a source of entertainment or at best a tool that improves our productivity, the truth is that technology is transforming many aspects of life – and in significant ways, too. Take Bitcoin. While there’s a lot of negative press surrounding the cryptocurrency, if it takes off then it could bring the big bank to its knees – and who can think of a bigger revolution than that? Then there’s the matter of politics. It’s easy to forget just how much of an impact politics has been affected by tech; below, we take a look at five ways it has.

Woman with purse and phone

(, Pexels)

Greater information

The press used to hold all the cards. If it wasn’t reported in the media, and you hadn’t seen it first hand, then, chances are, you would never have heard about it. That’s not the case anymore. Within minutes of an event that could affect politics, you can read about it on social media; in some cases, you can even live stream the event. If a political upstart isn’t getting enough attention from the mainstream media, then no worries, simply head to Periscope and see what they’re saying first hand.

Political participation

Sometimes, it’s not politics that is the problem; it’s that the general population isn’t engaged enough. Of course, this isn’t necessarily anyone’s fault. People lead busy lives, and can’t be expected to jump through hoops just to cast a vote. However, this may soon be a problem of the past. Smartmatic, an election technology firm, has developed an app that allows people to vote via their mobile phone. All they need to do is to verify their identity with a selfie and then vote. With queuing up at the polling stations a thing of the past, voter apathy will decline.

Raising funds

Let’s take a look at the rise of Bernie Sanders. The self-proclaimed socialist should have had no chance of becoming President, yet he wasn’t all that far away. So how did he do it? By leveraging the power of the internet, specifically crowdfunding. He was never going to receive backing from the billionaires with deep pockets; but with the power of the web, he was able to raise money from ordinary citizens who believed in what he was trying to achieve.

Uncovering improper behavior

Take a look at history, and you’ll soon uncover plenty of shady details that were kept quiet at the time. Today, it’s much harder for politicians to keep things private – and that’s only a good thing for democracy. It was easy to control a newspaper, but you won’t get far if you try to control the internet.

Final thoughts

Of course, not every impact technology has had on politics has been positive, as the Russian hacking scandal shows. However, that we even know about that shows that overall, technology is helping to improve the face of politics. What will the future hold? We’ll have to wait and see.

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