Social Media and Public Participation in IA - Presentation 1

Social Media to Facilitate Public Particpation in IA


"Twitter provides teeth to the masses" - Arab Spring, Bank of America and JP Morgan withdrew rise in service fees, #stopknoy2012


What are the implications for IA, land use planning and policy making?

Are these new communication services/devices are the cause or the tools for change?



  • Ubiquitous networked and mobile communications.
  • Can organise a protest in a few hours and politicians can't react in that short time.
  • Earthquake in China whe school buildings crumbled, the story got out even though govnment tried to suppress it because of these new tools.

Contested expertise:

  • Vaccination for cervical cancer in girls 12-15 years failed because rumours about chips being embedded, that it was a surveillance programme, Medical Lead complained that his expertise was being contested by people who did not have knowledge of the issues.
Citizen governance through crowd sourcing:

  • 'Wisdom of the crowd'
  • Self-organising publics
  • How to get useful information from the general public
  • Open ended approaches can lead to reduced involvement
What will be the impact of new media and the phenomenon of self organising publics on impact assesment and the policy process?

  • creates new publics, don't know who the new publics are

New media:

  • Help organise public and spreading information
  • Help to monitor and follow up by inviting the public to act as monitor and feedback
  • But called to self organising publics that demand greater change
Who is participating and who needs to participate?

Is it a matter of constructing the right public?



Proponent can use new media to spread their own rumours that support their case but it seems to be more a force for protest and opposition?

  • Politician that engage do get 1000s of followers so that they can create influence.
  • Companies are also using these tools spreading both information and rumours - overt and covert information spreading

Is this new media a benefit or a curse, leading to greater manipulation, good if it can lead to informed publics, often the media are selective, and what is the role of IA in this context?

  • New media are products being sold to us e.g. Facebook and LinkedIn
  • We are also being tracked by these products and services
  • We cannot evade them and avoid them so we have to engage with them
  • I don't know as yet what the role of IA is in this, need to understand how we might be manipulated through them

  • There is now conscious opposition to opposition, groups react by responding to for example a letter in a newspaper where people are paid to respond.
  • People can also pretend that they are someone else or some other organisation.
  • More chaotic management of information dissemination



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