Blown To Bits

Live by the social network, die by the social network

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008 by Harry Lewis

One of the fondest hopes for the Internet is that it will re-energize the democratic spirit, by making it easier for citizens to participate in the democratic process. Senator Obama is thought to have profited in particular from the mass participation of Internet users.

An Obama supporter ¬†has used the Obama Facebook group to organize opposition to the senator’s position on FISA (previously discussed on this blog). It’s a lovely example of the double-edged sword. Conventional wisdom requires that modern campaigns be well controlled. (Good grief, the Dems are so focused on image control that they are dictating the colors of the food on the plates at their convention, and the percentage of fruits and vegetables – do they really want us to think that is the way they will run the country?). The control instinct runs counter to the spirit of participatory chaos that the open Internet also supports. I’ll bet that in four years this conflict will have been sorted out a bit better in the political campaigns, at a cost to that spirit of individual entrepreneurial power that is so invigorating right now.

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