Social networks have allowed citizens to become activists and increase their political participation. Nowadays, candidates have great incentives to engage voters online, and induce them become active campaigners in social media.
The wide array of new media available is providing a great number of platforms for discussion. And interactive content offers new opportunities for a more fluid dialogue between politicians and potential voters.
However, even though internet has paved the way for participation in politics and social decision-making processes, there are still gaps between social groups. These differences can be explained on the basis of education level, culture, internet access and skills to use computer tools.
To discuss this all-important topic, a symposium on quality of virtual democracy (e-democracy) will be held next July in Istanbul, at the 24th World Congress of Political Science. Among the issues to be discussed is the transformation that internet causes in political reasoning, the different factors involved in motivation for political participation among social groups and the influence of the media in creating a public virtual sphere consistent with democratic values.