Yesterday on the first of July Your Freedom was launched by the coalition Liberal Democrat/Conservative government. It seems that Nick Clegg is at the lead of the project, spearheading a new avenue of internet political interactivity. Over the last couple of years, there have been more and more politically charged social networking sites springing up on all bands of the political spectrum. Several of these were single policy sites, pushing a particular agenda, some were more broadly focused with a particular political slant. In the UK, the government is attempting to give all of these disparate viewpoints a forum for debate and discussion of ideas.
Although it’s still a little shaky due to the fact that demand for the service is so much higher than anticipated, the functionality of the front end more than makes up for it. There’s an intuitive tagging system, which allows all users to add tags to all campaigns, and all users can leave comments too. It’s like we are truly entering a state of Twittocracy (well there is always a theory…), a society shaped by the majority, with their collective opinions being aggregated automatically through what I like to call Interactivism (maybe Hacktivism?) which is basically a marriage of internet and activism.
A number of campaigns are theoretically sound, but the methodology is lacking (poor spelling and grammar…). A great many campaigns are identical to others and sevceral recurring themes have sprung up; such as repealing the Digital Economy Act and the Legalization of Cannabis.
I believe that this proactive platform for public political promotion is pretty provocative. It is probably paramount to protect personal privacy and post (okay, enough alliteration…) anonymously to begin with. Compared with Petition The PM at Number 10 it is definitely an improvement in that it is much less patronising.