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Can Twitter nurture political action?

In The New Yorker this week, Malcolm Gladwell offers a bracing critique of the notion that social media like Twitter and Facebook are reinventing activism -- claims that were broadly made after Twitter became identified with protests in Moldova and Iran last year.

"Social networks are effective at increasing participation — by lessening the level of motivation that participation requires," he writes. And the "weak ties" created by these platforms, he adds, cannot promote the discipline and strategy that true political activism requires. [NYTIMES.COM OPINION]


Asked by tasches at 5:41 PM on Oct. 6, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

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Answers (4)
  • The political twitter accounts I follow on twitter are mainly ones that send out real time notifications... Like if a bill is released, usually I will get notification within an hour or so of it being published online.... Or if someone has spoken about an issue, I will get a tweet with link to watch/read... That real time info can be useful... It can also spread rumors. Which is why it's best to know the source..

    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 6:04 PM on Oct. 6, 2010

  • Twitter is extremely useful politically. The House and senate tweet everything they do in real time,, with links to the bills. No newscaster required. Scotus, too. Yep, I follow everyone,

    Answer by lovinangels at 5:59 PM on Oct. 6, 2010

  • It probably could, I'm not sure to what extent, though...

    Answer by agentwanda at 7:36 PM on Oct. 6, 2010

  • Interesting but imo Twitter is mindless and ego driven. Let's hope people are more stable and secure in their minds to not follow politicians on such a platform. The only good thing about fb is moderate groups such as that are helping your average voters read and understand propositions before heading to the booth.

    Answer by parrishsky at 5:54 PM on Oct. 6, 2010