Between the 2008 election and the current situation in Iran, social technologies have changed politics in very real, very meaningful ways.
Now, with these immediate, uncontrolled communication channels available (Twitter, YouTube, Facebook), citizens finally have the ability to share what’s really going on without the media filter.
Iranian leaders didn’t anticipate this, but other repressive regimes will. So we have to be on the lookout for when these channels get shut down or attempts are made to co-opt them by governments bent on spreading misinformation.
And yes, there’s a lot of noise, and that means we have to be vigilant about what we choose to to share with others. Because nothing will undermine these channels more than false info being spread. So you have a responsibility too to be a good reader and a good sharer.
But, obviously, there’s also a hell of a lot of signal too. And these channels will only get more sophisticated, users will only get more savvy and news will only get more instantaneous as things like streaming video becomes pervasive on mobile phones, computers, et al.
One thing’s for sure…as clichÃ© as the following may sound, we’re witnessing history in the making and nothing will ever be the same again.