In the struggle between liberty and power, technologies are rarely neutral. So where does the Internet fall?
This month at Cato Unbound, Berin Szoka of the think tank Tech Freedom takes a broadly optimistic approach. Jason Benlevi, the author of the book Too Much Magic, suggests that social media may be effective when they give corporations consumer feedback, but they don’t do as well against governments. Rebecca MacKinnon, the author of Consent of the Networked, urges us to focus on the details of specific countries and cultures; for her, facts on the ground can make or break Internet activism. And public choice scholar and law professor John O. McGinnis zooms out to the larger picture: The Internet is changing how we conduct public policy debates, he argues. As fact-checking and crowdsourcing get easier, our political culture will tend to grow more empirical and less ideological.