Improving Online Civic Engagement

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Online civic engagement tools can increase public trust in their governments, but only if they avoid common crowd-sourcing problems such as outsider influence – when individuals from outside of the jurisdiction try to overly influence the forum. The Alliance for Innovation suggests best practices that can help with this issue. They include requiring participants to register in order to post their ideas or comments on the forum; including street address in the registration process; geo-coding each participant’s address; mapping the jurisdiction; placing the feedback on the maps; providing analysis tools for filtering the feedback, and not conveying the addresses of individual participants. The article includes a case study from Salt Lake City, Utah.