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date: 24 March 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This article analyses the challenge to governance posed by the so-called Fifth Estate. It explains that the Fifth Estate refers to the ways in which the Internet is being used by increasing numbers of people to network with other individuals to support social accountability across many sectors, including business and industry, government, politics, and the media. The article suggests that the Fifth Estate's role in enhancing the communicative power of networked individuals is likely to have profound implications for governance across every sector of society. It also contends that the Fifth Estate's continued vitality depends on preventing excessive regulation or inappropriate regulation of the Internet.

Keywords: Fifth Estate, governance, Internet, social accountability, networked individuals, excessive regulation

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