e-Participation: Social Media and the Public Space

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Abstract

Today many initiatives bring groups and individuals together by using social media. They amplify their voice and make their expectations, desires and frustrations public. Some of these initiatives have demonstrated the competence to mobilize people and networks and push government for action. Internet enables connection of various networked local events to occur in different parts of the world; the network is global while events are local. Thus new geographies are formed exploding contextual limits and boundaries between localities and previous hierarchies of scale. We can say that the public sphere has become hybrid as it incorporates virtual and geographical spaces, and traditional and social media. This paper argues that social media can amplify the public space. The categories of "public", "public space" incorporate the possibilities of collaboration and participation in everyday life that portable devices such as smartphones or cell phones already enable.