Liquid Feedback in Largescale Civic Contexts

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* Liquid Feedback in Largescale Civic Contexts: Framing Multiple Styles of Online Participation. By Giulia Bertone, Fiorella De Cindio, Stefano Stortone. Journal of Social Media for Organizations. Volume 2, Number 1



"Growing distrust in government is accompanied by new opportunities for civic involvement through online technological platforms. LiquidFeedback is one of the most interesting, as it embeds innovative features to support online deliberative processes. Designed as an intranet tool for closed, homogeneous groups, the software has also been used in large civic contexts involving citizens at large. This paper presents and analyses two large-scale deliberation projects where thousands of Italian citizens used the LiquidFeedback platform. The analysis aims to understand how well this software serves as a platform for people to gather ideas, draft proposals collaboratively, and then rate them by degree of consensus. We consider the political context for these field cases and their socio-technical design choices, look at how LiquidFeedback enables citizen participation, discuss politicians’ accountability in terms of online activity, and report participants’ assessment of the two projects. Our analysis adapts existing frameworks that match different participation styles to profiles of activity in online communities."