How Social Media is Changing the Power Balance of What we Read and See on the News.
In his TED Talk of How Social Media Can Make History, Clay Shirky made some interesting points but what I got out of it loud and clear was the shift in power that is occurring with social media. The big corporations, governments, media, newspapers etc. no longer have the power to censure what is heard and said by the general public.
The fact that news can be broadcast instantly, that various opinions can be expressed in real life time, decisions can be challenged and the general public has access to unlimited information (whether accurate or not), makes this power shift or struggle more & more prominent. I wonder how the powers that be feel about losing their elite power base.
He spoke about the ability for the world’s population to network with each other but he also spoke of the attempts of power houses such as the Chinese government to block this networking. This is a representation of how the world has been controlled by the elite for so long and how Social media is a threat to their control.
The instant responses after the Chinese and Haiti earthquakes made rescue & cleanup efforts so much more effective. But social media can spread inaccurate information and there is no way to stop it’s spread and often misinformation can lead to bad choices.
I love that social media is able to reach out to so many people that in the past have had limited access to news, I love the way people can discuss the news amongst themselves and redirect the course that some events ultimately have.
Social media is scary for me because it keeps changing and I feel helpless to keep up but I also love it and wouldn’t want to live without it.