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Wednesday, 29 November, 2017 - 16:13

Mobile internet use in the Philippines is growing rapidly, but so are associated digital inequalities. I've just published a new research report with my colleague Kevin Hernandez based on our study in the Philippines, which suggests that far from creating equality of access to information, the use of mobile and internet technologies is creating new class divisions in technology access and new forms of digital inequality. In the report we emphasise the need to add ‘analogue complements’ to our digital development initiatives in order to ensure that they don’t unintentionally exacerbate existing social inequalities.
 

The Philippines is famous as the text message and social media capital of Asia and has the highest growth rate in smartphone ownership in the region. There are more mobile phone registrations than people in the country. So on the surface it seemed like the perfect place to launch new digital governance initiatives and to research digital governance technologies.

 

What we in our research found poured...