The internet does not plant the seed of democracy, but can help it grow

The internet works to reinforce political change rather than stimulate it, research from Ohio State University has found.

The researchers looked at existing data from Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia to compare internet use and people’s desires for democracy in each country.

The internet was found to be most effective in countries where governments had already introduced some democratic reforms and internet use was high and uncontrolled. The researchers found demand for democracy was much lower in extremely authoritarian countries that restricted internet use.

According to lead researcher, Erik Nisbet, the results suggest that rather than planting the seed of democracy, the internet helps it to flourish.

Read more at Ohio State University