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Internet usage promotes democracy in partially free countries

Columbus, Thu, 05 Apr 2012 ANI

Columbus, Apr 5 (ANI): Internet use will prove to be more effective in countries, that already have some reforms introduced in that direction, a new multinational study has revealed.

Although, the use of the internet has embarked democratic revolutions in the Arab World and other countries, Ohio State University study has found that the internet will be less a effective means to control citizens in extremely authoritarian states.

Erik Nisbet, lead author of the study and Assistant Professor of Communications, Ohio State University, said, "Instead of the Internet promoting fundamental political change, it seems to reinforce political change in countries that already have at least some level of democratic freedoms,"

In addition, demand for democracy is highest in countries where people are more connected on the Internet and, most importantly, when they spend more time online, he said.

"Internet penetration in a country matters in terms of how much people want democratic reforms, but it is even more important that people are spending greater amounts of time on the internet and that they are connected to other people in their community," said Elizabeth Stoycheff, co-author of the study and doctoral a student in Communication at Ohio State.

Based on the results of the study, Professor Nisbet said there are only some countries that currently appear to have the right political and technological factors, for the Internet to affect the social and political scenario. Those countries include Kenya, Senegal, Uganda, Singapore and Zambia. (ANI)

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