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Insight: Social media - a political tool for good or evil?


WASHINGTON | Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:18am EDT

(Reuters) - After the "Arab Spring" surprised the world with the power of technology to revolutionize political dissent, governments are racing to develop strategies to respond to, and even control, the new player in the political arena -- social media.

Anti-government protesters in Tunisia and Egypt used Twitter, Facebook and other platforms to run rings around attempts at censorship and organize demonstrations that ousted presidents Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak.

That served as a wake-up call to those in authority. By allowing millions of citizens to coordinate political action quickly and often without conventional leadership, the new technology is challenging traditional political power structures.

"We are well beyond being able to consider social media a fad," said Alec Ross, one of the creators of the social media campaign that helped propel Barack Obama to the White House and now senior adviser for innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by David Jackson
Entered on:

    "Social media" is a cowards subterfuge. It isn't a "movement" and it isn't good or evil...It's pretty much stupid! the people who are making billion$ from it want to legitimize it in any way possible. They are likely to have their way, since people are basically social idiots and are prone to take the easy way out, by "communicating" without having to speak, think, or physically and emotionally interact.

   The anonimity that activities on the www allows make glib and unaccountable "communication" the standard for social intercourse, promoting falsehood and outright lying as the norm.

   That a gaggle of morons can communicate without communicating is of little or no real value in the "real" world. It's a sick joke on all of us! It's going to be the bane of existence for the world's children, in the next couple of generations.

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