Online Civic Engagement

UNICEF defines civic engagement as “individual or collective actions in which people participate to improve the well-being of communities or society in general”. It is a fundamental process to democracy, through which people take action, in a collective manner, to address issues of public concern. 

In the digital age, citizens also get involved in practices of digital citizenship practices, which is “the ability to participate in society online” (Mossberger, Tolbert & McNeal, 2007). According to the Council of Europe it also concerns “the ability to engage positively, critically and competently in the digital environment, drawing on the skills of effective communication and creation, practicing forms of social participation that are respectful of human rights and dignity through the responsible use of technology”. 

The COVID-19 pandemic raised renewed interest about these questions. During the pandemic, several civil society movements played important roles, whether performing the most various social services, or promoting campaigns to fight fake news and disinformation

Therefore, understanding what online civic engagement is and promoting a conscious and responsible engagement in the digital media landscape is fundamental to increase efficiency and transparency in democratic processes.

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