Public accountability in the Internet age: changing roles for governments and citizens
The Internet has created opportunities for instant and cheap communication, including communication between government and citizens. The interactive capabilities of Web 2.0 in general and social media in particular have turned this communication from a (mostly) one-way stream to an interactive experience. This low-cost, accessible medium has levelled the playing field between government and citizen: everyone now has the means to organize and spread a message at their fingertips. As a result, the role of citizens in the public discourse has changed: they have become monitorial citizens and armchair auditors. Public accountability, one of the key processes in any democracy, is changing and become a more dynamic process. In this article we describe this trend and discuss its implications.