alexa Political Science for whom?: Knowledge in the Online Era

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Political Science for whom?: Knowledge in the Online Era

If the Arab Spring taught us anything, it was that the Internet has become an important mean of the dissemination of ideas, creation of interest groups, mobilization of people, and changing public opinion. Although some will insist that the Arab Spring was not a socialmedia phenomenon but a grass roots movement, we cannot ignore the power of unhampered information presented by the millions of users during the revolution. Images posted on Flickr or Face book and videos uploaded on YouTube were being seen by the world without the framing bias and “coloring” from traditional media outlets.Not only has social media allowed groups to finally find an arena for communication and mobilization relatively protected from the repression of authoritarian regimes, but it has become a major force in democratic regimes as well. When the U.S.A. Congress was considering approving SOPA and PIPA, over 100,000 Internet companies asked their users to petition their elected representatives to oppose these bills. And so they did, Google reported that in one day 4.5 million people signed the petition opposing SOPA and PIPA. There was no need to rally people in Washington to successfully oppose SOPA and PIPA. In fact, without the Internet and Social Media we would not have experienced the rate of success that the anti-PIPA/SOPA movement had             

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