27th May 2011, 03:00PM
Royal Institute of Mechanical Engineers, One Birdcage Walk, London, SW1H 9JJ

On Friday 27 May, Demos and the Open Society Institute hosted a panel discussion on the impact of the internet on democratic culture, institutes and engagement.

Evgeny Morozov, author of The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Freedom and the Internet

Ben Hammersley, Editor-at-Large of Wired UK (chair)

Dan Hind, author of The Return of the Public

Tom Chatfield, technology and cultural commentator and author of Fun Inc

With Twitter lauded for bringing down tyrannies and Facebook valued at £50 billion, we seem to be entering a new phase of digital utopianism. The interactivity of social networking and open data are seen by many as the drivers of a more participatory and democratic culture.

Yet critics have long argued against the effects of the net in relation to privacy and corporate power, and argue the web’s culture of personalisation undermines the exercise of democratic judgement.

Bringing together renowned web activists, digital pioneers and today's most trenchant web skeptic, this event attempted to distinguish between the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to the interaction between new media and our politics.