eco on the German Unity Day: One in Three Germans Believes Reunification Would Have Occurred Sooner with the Internet

  • eco Podcast: On 3 October, German Unity Day, new German-language episode of “Das Ohr am Netz” (An Ear to the Internet) focuses on the democratic potential of the Internet

It is difficult to predict how German reunification would have unfolded if the Internet had existed in its current form. However, approximately one in three Germans (30.5 per cent) believes that German reunification would have occurred sooner if the digital global networking had existed at that time. These are the results of a representative survey of 2,515 Germans conducted by the opinion research institute Civey on behalf of the eco – Association of the Internet Industry, on the occasion of this year’s German Unification Day.

eco Chair of the Board, Oliver Süme is also convinced that the Internet can become a catalyst for political revolutions and that it holds enormous democratic potential:

“The Internet holds huge potential to strengthen democracies by enabling people around the world to connect, share information and work together for a better future. Global networking can help empower people and promote freedom and justice even in the most difficult historical circumstances. The Arab Spring, the Black Lives Matter movement or the Belarus protests, there are now countless examples of how the Internet and social media can bring about positive change in society.”

In addition to numerous positive influences on the Internet that strengthen democracies, there are also increasingly negative movements online. These include disinformation campaigns, filter bubbles and the danger of manipulation and hate speech on the Internet, which present our society with new challenges as a whole. Combating illegal Internet content is therefore a core task for eco, for which the association and its members have been intrinsically motivated for over 25 years.

“It is up to all of us to preserve what is good online and to protect the digital world as a space of enlightenment, empathy and mutual respect that is beneficial to all of us. That’s why we need to work together and with digital moral courage against filter bubbles, disinformation and hate speech on the Internet. Promoting media literacy and critical thinking in society is crucial to help people recognise and report illegal content,” says Süme.

New eco podcast on the topic: 33 years after reunification – How essential is the Internet for democracy?

The current episode of eco’s German-language podcast, “Das Ohr am Netz” (An Ear to the Internet), released on 3 October, focuses on a crucial topic: 33 years after reunification – it explores the significance of the Internet for democracy. In an era where the digital world permeates our daily lives, this episode provides inspiring insights into how the Internet shapes the foundations of our democracy. You can listen here!

eco Complaints Office successfully combats illegal Internet content for over 25 years

For over 25 years, the eco Complaints Office has been successfully combating illegal content on the Internet. Every tip counts! If you come across content online that you suspect is illegal, don’t hesitate – report it to the eco Complaints Office.

All important information about the eco Complaints Office and the complaint form are available at Complaints Office.eco.de.

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eco German-language podcast episode on reunification from 3 October

* The opinion research company Civey surveyed 2,522 people in Germany over the age of 18 from 28.09.-29.09.2023 on behalf of eco. The statistical error of the overall results is 3.0 per cent.

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