International Journal of Applied Philosophy

Volume 34, Issue 2, Fall 2020

Leandro De Brasi, Claudio Gutierrez
Pages 183-200

Anonymity and Asynchronicity as Key Design Dimensions for the Reciprocity of Online Democratic Deliberation

The aim of this paper is to identify, given certain democratic normative standards regarding deliberation, some pros as well as cons of possible online deliberation designs due to variations in two key design dimensions: namely, asynchronicity and anonymity. In particular, we consider one crucial aspect of deliberative argumentation: namely, its reciprocity, which puts interaction centre stage to capture the back-and-forth of reasons. More precisely, we focus on two essential features of the deliberative interaction: namely, its listening widely and listening carefully. We conclude that one sort of online deliberation that combines the two design features of anonymity and asynchronicity is likely to better promote the reciprocity required for democratic deliberation than both natural and designed offline deliberations (such as the designed deliberation in Deliberative Polling) and online simulations of them.