Data Democracy


Democracy requires participation, but people don’t participate. This problem is widespread, but voter turnout is especially poor among young people. Is it possible to drive participation in ways that might foster a more truly representative democracy?

One way to consider a new democratic order is by understanding social media as the site for political participation. Social media use is growing across all ages. Data mining tools and techniques offer a way to know the electorate in exciting ways. Digital marketers and the explosion of “big data” offer hooks to consider the changing role of civic tools and systems and provide a speculative proposal that lets the tail wag the dog. Instead of a representative democracy, one where elections are held to choose political players to represent citizenry, shouldn’t there be a way to directly access the feelings and frustrations of an area? This project considers a city where participation in social media has become equivalent to political participation.