Using Ukraine as my point of reference, I decided to list some of the pros and cons of online media in democratic transition and consolidation. My eventual aim is to gain an understanding of why the same tools that enabled Ukraine’s democratic transition have been so ineffective at the stage of consolidation. Mind you, I am trying to avoid falling into the trap of techno-determinism. Rather than scrutinize the inherent qualities of the technology itself, I am examining how ICTs have functioned in the context of a real-life movement, particularly when they are co-opted by traditional civic actors.
- Disseminate info more quickly and to a wider audience (ex. exposing election fraud, organizing protests, etc.)
- More platforms for critical discussion – especially important in non-democratic regimes where fewer opportunities exist offline.
- Online coverage keeps international community informed of developments, more likely to provide monetary support and/or place pressure on government for democratic reform.