There is also an issue with open government services and interactions using social media in terms of identifying the electorate. Traditional electoral systems go to great lengths to ensure that each eligible individual is connected with one singular vote. When a particular government initiative, proposal or programme has 20,000 likes (or online endorsements) it is difficult to determine how many of these come from one individual registering multiple times – or even if those endorsements originate from people who are either under age or residents of other national jurisdictions.
On the positive side – the ability offer an online endorsement (via social media and other related mechanisms) to politicians and leaders from countries other than your own gives a global voice to citizens who lack the right to participate foreign political systems – even when those political system (e.g. the US) frequently take decisions which have a significant impact on their social and economic livelihoods. This trend also has the capacity to further empower and energise online diasporas.
It was also pointed out that the value/significance of an online “like” is limited given the minimal barriers and cost to citizens expressing themselves in this way through a single mouse click – in comparison to citizens actually organising, mobilising and proactively advocating, which carries far greater weight and substance.