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The Rise of Social Media

Is social media in politics really a new phenomenon or is it just a byproduct of the information age? As technology becomes more advanced it is safe to assume that communication methods with follow suit and become more advanced. This will ultimately play a role in politics and especially political campaigns as they involve both communication and technology.

Sharing has become the new technique for disseminating the news. Facebook messages, hashtag campaigns and tweets have risen from the streets of Iran, Egypt and from the devastation of the Haitian earthquake. Social cyber communication have been retweeted hundreds of thousands of times making it the new virtual soapbox, newspaper and word of mouth.

The increase of communication actually strengthens democracy as it allows freedom of speech. But in countries were internet is managed and surveillance by the government the level of freedom of speech is diminished. In this case, democracy is diminished. If social media and the internet proved to be a true form of freedom of speech then it would have to be granted and accessible to all those who are part of a democratic society.

There is a great debate regarding the Internet, its content, governance, monopolies and competition. The reality is the Internet is a dynamic mechanism that has completely revolutionized the world and the way people share ideas and view the world. The world is more connected and informed than it has ever been in human history.

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