If the following assumptions are true, a new power has stood up. And not a feeble one. It can cause revolutions. It's democratic from the base. It uses the latest technology, wired and wireless, and connects almost instantly around the world. It can move from one place to another in a few minutes.
It's potentially dangerous, when controlled by the wrong people. Following an extract from an article:
It's been a month since protests erupted in Tunisia. President Zine El Abidine has fled, the government's collapsed and clashes between protesters and police are sweeping the country. Of course, the requisite cries of "Twitter revolution!" are sweeping the blogosphere.
- There is certainly a lot of Twitter chatter about the protests, under the hashtag #sidibouzid, and it's been a valuable source of information for Tunisians, who live in a country with highly oppressive government censorship.
- Added to this is new speculation that maybe Wikileaks caused the revolution, too? Some protestors have cited a Wikileaks cable that featured criticism of Tunisia's corrupt leadership.
- Or maybe it was the loose-knit hacking collective Anonymous? They attacked Tunisia's government in retaliation for censoring said Wikileaks cable.
- Don't forget about rappers who make viral videos and bloggers. The government arrested a bunch of them in retaliation for Anonymous' retaliation.
- Then again, it could be a big moment social bookmarking site Posterous. The blogging collective Nawaat has been frenetically updating their Posterous with excellent videos and images of the protests.
- Nobody's citing Foursquare yet, but it's only a matter of time before some journalist finds a few protestors checking into a riot.
These are exciting times. I hope common sense does prevail.