Beyond Viral

via Communications of the ACM

April 1, 2016


The golden age of social media coincides with a worldwide leadership crisis, manifested by our seeming inability to address any major global issue in recent years.32 These days, no one—be they a charismatic leader or a nameless crowd—seems to be able to make issues popular for long enough to mobilize society into action. As a result of this leadership vacuum, social progress of all sorts seems to have become stymied and frozen. How can this happen precisely in a time when social media, praised as the ultimate tool to raise collective awareness and mobilize society, has reached maturity and widespread use? Here, we argue the coexistence of social media technologies with 'The End of Power'18 is anything but a coincidence, presenting the first techno-social paradox of the 21st century.

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