Les modérateurs des forums de discussion municipaux. Des intermédiaires démocratiques?

Abstract : The growing use of Internet discussion forums in city communication practices has raised hopes that new forms of deliberation may be opened up, at least partially freed up from the temporal constraints on face-to-face debates. It is also hoped that these new forms of deliberation may weaken social hierarchies and the power relations that exist in face-to-face debates. Internet forums require the presence of experts, of professionals (head of communications, webmaster) who ensure their smooth running. To what extent does their management of the electronic discussion influence the conditions and the modes of participation of the population? We observed three main functions of the moderator: the manager, the referee and the intermediary. In the case of the management of the forum, the webmaster's contribution to debates clearly stimulates interest in the forum. In the exercise of his or her function of referee, the webmaster controls what can be said in the forum, and the manner or form that the messages are allowed to take. Finally, when the moderator assumes the function of intermediary between Internet users and politicians, s/he enjoys a clear political prerogative. Indeed, the process by which the contributions of Internet users are translated into the political sphere is opaque, which casts doubt on the ‘democratic' nature of the intermediary's practices
Document type :
Journal articles
Questions de Communication, Presses universitaires de Nancy, 2007, pp.335-354


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Submitted on : Sunday, June 13, 2010 - 9:23:40 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, February 3, 2015 - 4:23:12 PM

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Stéphanie Wojcik. Les modérateurs des forums de discussion municipaux. Des intermédiaires démocratiques?. Questions de Communication, Presses universitaires de Nancy, 2007, pp.335-354. <hal-00491575>

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