Technology in Action Complete
Recent political and global issues are showing that technology is accelerating change around the world and galvanizing groups of people in new ways. Let’s look at a few examples.
Social Networking Tools. Social networking tools enable the gathering of groups of people to connect and exchange ideas, and they have brought together people facing repression and censorship in many countries. In fact, in 2014, uprisings in the Ukraine were organized using Facebook pages. Managing control of the media is no longer simple for regimes.
Politicians worldwide have also begun to incorporate social networking as part of their political strategy (see Figure 1.1). In the United States, politicians like Barack Obama have Twitter and Facebook accounts that they use to communicate with their constituents. In Italy, Beppe Grillo drew the largest vote in a recent election for a single party using mainly Facebook and Twitter in place of television and newspaper ads. In India, the finance minister took his public discussion about budget not to the airwaves but to a Google+ Hangout session. Yatterbox, a British social media website, follows the social media activities of members of the House of Commons, the Scottish Parliament, and the Northern Ireland Assembly. UK politicians post over two million social media updates a year.
An advantage of social media is that others can immediately connect and engage in a two-way conversation. During the debate in the British Parliament on the legalization of gay marriage, for example, lawmakers were leaving chambers to tweet updates. The public had a chance to try to influence how the vote went through real-time feedback using social media. Social networking tools are therefore providing a level of instant connection and information distribution that is reshaping the world. What can you do with social networking tools that will change the future of your community?
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