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Journal Article

The Political Power of Social Media: Technology, the Public Sphere, and Political Change

Clay Shirky
Foreign Affairs
Vol. 90, No. 1 (JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2011), pp. 28-41
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25800379
Page Count: 14
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Political Power of Social Media: Technology, the Public Sphere, and Political Change
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Abstract

Discussion of the political impact of social media has focused on the power of mass protests to topple governments. In fact, social media's real potential lies in supporting civil society and the public sphere—which will produce change over years and decades, not weeks or months. The U.S. government should maintain Internet freedom as a general goal, not as a tool for achieving immediate policy aims in specific countries.

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