‘Transparency’ week 8

‘Against Transparency’


‘A Government 2.0 idea – first, make all the functions visible.’


‘Twenty reasons why it’s kicking’


The aforementioned readings discussed the pros, cons and motivations of the ‘naked transparency model’ being implemented in society,  particularly in relation to it’s potential effects on Government reform. What resonated throughout all readings is the bipartisan nature of effects that the  “naked transparency movement,” has/will have.  Whilst  its ‘virtues and its utilities’ mirror a  global progressive movement, Lawrence Lessig in ‘Against transparency‘ states that there will be problems caused in certain facets of society if we do not ‘think critically enough’ as to where and when transparency is applied’ it may lead to confusion or worse corruption’ The point being made here being that although transparency upholds a virtuous progressive movement of solidarity it can simultaneously lead to confusion and distabilisation.

Why does transparency pose a potential threat ?

In today’s western, capitalist societies the power is  information and whoever holds, obtains, has access to data/information are key publics who are able to influence and contribute to reform or a revolt. Transparency finds its vehicle in social media technologies and it’s technique: ‘horizontalism ‘ or TRANSVERSism(ally) is able to  ‘kill vertical hierarchies spontaneously,’ or simultaneously create new models of governing and governance.

The Pro’s of Transparency and Collaboration in Government reform:

Transparency and accountability, through which government is open and transparent regarding its operations to build trust and foster accountability.

Democratic participation and engagement using social media technologies  to involve the public in government decision processes and the development of new policies.

Crowdsourcing  innovations: To facilitate crowdsourcing, the government shares data  so that the public has a platform on which to utilise their knowledge and talent to develop innovative solutions to large-scale societal issues.

Co-production, through which governments and the public jointly develop, design, and deliver government services to improve service quality.


Accessibility barriers regarding issues with language, geographic location, technology.

Issues will arise in regards to privacy, security, and accuracy issues regarding social media technologies. i.e.personally identifiable information, security of government data and information, and accuracy of publicly available data.

Measuring the extent to which certain data are valid and reliable. i.e there is a danger of policy and decision making being based on inappropriately combined data.

The distribution of power in a networked society can blur the boundaries where government leaves off and communities begin.

What needs to be done?

There exists the need for a development of and support for research about a comprehensive policy framework to better understand the use of social media in is agency  to certain governmental functions. i.e. policy making and implementation.  Which will then require an evaluation of which practices will be the most effective and efficient  in the use of social media to deliver government information and services.

A Considerable  amount of research is needed to explore the types of services that people actually want from government through social media and the types of services they do not want to use through social media. Understanding user needs, behaviors, and expectations will be critical to the development of social media-embedded government services and resources. Furthermore Governments must evaluate the best ways to reach diverse users and non-users of social media populations through social media.

As more social media content is implemented by governments, there is a need to create and support research efforts to better understand the impacts of social media technologies on government and the public, particularly as technologies increasingly serve as agents of government-public interactions.


‘Engaging the Public in Open Government: Social Media Technology and Policy for Government Transparency’ Accessed 29th April




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