Civic Media Practice Facilitating Democratic Process in Two Environmental Community-Engaged Research in Taiwan
Keywords:Facebook, LINE, disaster-response communities, social network sites
Environmental protection is an increasing concern across Taiwan. Facebook and LINE enjoy high penetration in Taiwan, are potential platforms for democratizing the research process. Citizens participate in evaluating their environment, contributing to its protection as well as having voice in decision making in the environment community-engaged research (eCEnR) than ever before. However, along with increased citizen engagement, researchers also see a decreased trust in institutions, including government, media, and news. Based on in-depth interviews with organizers and participants, the analysis of posts on Facebook group, LINE messages, and websites of two ongoing eCEnRs, we assessed the impact of civic media practice on the democratic process. This article analyzes how social networking sites or applications function in four activities of the democratic process. Network building, discussion forums, distributed ownership and persistent input help organizations overcome distrust of institutions and enhance civic media’s ability to foster connections and create more usable interfaces between communities and institutions.
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