Democracy conference: What is an informed citizen in the Facebook era?

Today, digital technologies have a huge influence on how citizens stay informed. Democratic participation in the digital age is up for debate at the IT University of Copenhagen on November 25.

One of the cornerstones of modern democracy is the ideal that citizens stay informed about societal developments and discuss current issues with each other. But what does this mean in an age where we are all getting information from a myriad of different online sources? the role of modern technologies in our democracy is up for discussion at the conference The Informed Citizen in Digital Society, taking place at ITU on Friday, November 25.

"Today, information is everywhere, but the question is whether this makes us informed citizens – and what being informed even means. In the wake of the US presidential election, some have argued that many of the Trump-voters were not well-informed and cast their votes based on personal feelings. If that is really the case, we may need to rethink the ideal of the informed citizen," says Martina Mahnke, Research Assistant and conference coordinator.

"We will focus on how the vast information flow, digitalization of contact with the public system, and concerns about data security affect our opportunities to participate actively in the democratic process," she continues.

Panel discussion and workshops
The conference is open to all and kicks off with a panel discussion between Rolf Bjerre from Alternativet, Henrik Dahl from the Liberal Alliance, Ingrid Ank from Grundtvigsk Forum and Gitte Stald, Associate Professor at ITU. They will discuss how social media affects possibilities to keep informed, and whether being informed is an individual responsibility, among other questions.

After the panel discussion, there will be a series of workshops on topics such as the EU Data Protection Regulation, social media and the impact of opinion polls on democracy.

The conference is organized by students from the Digital Democratic Citizenship course at ITU, which explores the relationship between technology, democracy and society.

Program
Kl. 13-14: Panel discussion (will be livestreamed here)
Kl. 14-16: Workshops and collection
Kl. 16: Friday bar and ‘hygge’

Read more about the conference and see a detailed program.

Further information

Martina Mahnke, Research Assistant, email mamah@itu.dk

Vibeke Arildsen, Press Officer, phone 2555 0447, email viar@itu.dk