Digital divide in US election

Recently i came across the following interview by Andy Carvin with some of the democratic candidates, asking them about the the potential role of government in bridging the digital divide. Interestingly enough all the candidates mentioned access to broadband as the main issue constituting the divide in US with access to computers as the second one (Chris Dodd talked about bridging educational gaps through access???). Education came in occasionally, only if explicitly prompted by the interviewer. Gravel was the only one to mention net neutrality, but still in a very weird and local context. Richardson talked about the need of corporate involvement.

Of course the “digital divide” is not a major point on anyones agenda, but it is still interesting to see how it is framed in good old terms of access – give them computers and broadband and everything will be OK. But how? Why?


2 Responses to “Digital divide in US election”

  1. Taran Rampersad Says:

    Well, part of the problem of the divide itself is that people on the wrong side don’t get heard… which is why it is an issue. Maybe that is really part of the issue. Considering the amount of data that these campaigns must buy from database companies and where those companies get the data from… Well… it reinforces the divide.

    Ironically, privacy on the internet would work toward bridging the divide by forcing statistics to be provided to campaigns from more diverse information sources.. hmm. food for thought. :-)

  2. Dima Says:

    Thank you for the comment Taran.

    Indeed, ironically the perception of “digital divide” is probably shaped mostly by those who can benefit from this technology. This is more or less the claim i try to develop in a paper that will be presented at IAMCR conference in a few days.

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