Are online communities real or fake?, страница 2

            If it is not democracy, than it must be the anarchy.  Lawlessness is a term used by many scholars to describe the state of the Internet, or more correctly society without the state.  Internet, as described by Dana Ward, is a large-scale anarchist organization. (6) Although, in the previous paragraph, the free flow of information and individual expression was seen as the positive aspect of the Internet, in this context, it is seen to carry negative connotations.  Internet is mainly unregulated and uncontrolled state, allowing participants to make decisions and choices based on the personal preference, without consideration of others.  Absence of government in this case, exposes society to certain dangers, chaos and criminal activities that lead to harmful outcomes.  If the answer is so evident, the question is why is the Internet still unregulated?  The problem with the above lies in the notion that the Internet is not only unregulated, but also unregulatable. (7) As Graham notes, this is mainly due to the fact of technological impossibilities.  It has gotten to the point that the society that we live in today has become so technologically advanced and superior that the reverse action is no longer up to us.

Activists and Piece makers on the Internet

            In the vast space of the virtual world, there are as many activists as their opposing groups, piece makers.  Because online communities are mainly comprised of people with similar views and opinions, the Internet enabled like-minded people to share their theories with one another.  Online activists are often seen as troublemakers and the outlaws of the Internet.  This view is not always correct.  “Activists… now are far more interested in connecting with people who agree with them-not in debating with advocates from the other side.” (8) Activists are people that want to be heard and Internet is a perfect tool to advertise their politics.  Activists are citizens with the same rights as everyone else.  What makes them different from others is the fact that they choose to speak up on an issue they feel strongly about. Their main objective is to reveal the truth and facts about certain government or media institutions, which in their opinions treat others unfairly. 

Peacemakers are believed to be the counterpart of activists.  Whether such generalization is correct, one should take a closer look at the missions carried out by these groups.  Peacemakers fight for common good aiming at attracting as many followers as they can.  Peacemakers want to speak and to be heard.  Both peacemakers and activists fight in one sense or another.  In reality, peacemakers are as much activists as their assumed counterpart.  Both are comprised of communities of like-minded people with a mission to accomplish and make a difference.  The only difference among the two is the label society places upon each.  Activists are looked upon as cancer of society and peacemakers, on the other hand, are the saviors. 

            Studies show that the Internet is one of the most effective tools to alert and assemble large numbers of people electronically. (9) Which of the two categories would win, largely depends on the numbers of like-minded people they attract and the effectiveness of Internet resources they choose to use to promote their politics, be it websites or e-mail lists.

Concluding statement

Internet and the real world are two separate entities, therefore communities formed in such different realms should not be compared but looked upon as co-existing worlds. 


  1. Oxford English Dictionary
  2. Hauben, Michael, and Hauben, Ronda.  Netizens: On the History and Impact of Usenet and the Internet.  Los Alamitos: IEEE Computer Society Press, 1997. p.5 
  3. Hick, Steven F., and McNutt, John, G.  Advocacy, Activism, and the Internet.  Chicago: Lyceum Books, Inc., 2002. p.41
  4. Graham, Gordon.  The Internet://a philosophical inquiry.  London: Routledge, 1999. p. 145
  5. Graham, Gordon.  The Internet://a philosophical inquiry.  London: Routledge, 1999. p. 66