It is tempting to look at platforms such as Facebook and Twitter and see them as mildly irritating teenagers that have yet to grow up, develop adult sensibilities and start conforming to the realities of the real world. Many journalists, judges and politicians take this view I believe. It is rather less comfortable to imagine Facebook and Twitter as the vanguard of something that is going to remake the world and change its realities. But social media is going to do this and outlined below are the reasons.
For 600 years we have lived in a world where distributing information
was expensive and our approach to managing information was therefore
restrictive. Information was a scare and precious resource because the
channels it had to live within made it so. News was edited down into 30
second segments, marketing was edited down into 30 second ads and trust
was imprisoned within institutionalized mediators (news organizations,
banks, universities, encyclopaedias). The big shift has happened
because social media liberates information from restrictive means of
distribution -- it has meant that information has become free in both a
monetary sense and a mobility sense -- and this is why lots of things
are going to change.
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