Malcolm Gladwell has written a provocative article in The New Yorker about Twitter’s “weak” ability to facilitate social change. He’s the anti-Shirky, sure enough:
These are strong, and puzzling, claims. Why does it matter who is eating whose lunch on the Internet? Are people who log on to their Facebook page really the best hope for us all? As for Moldova’s so-called Twitter Revolution, Evgeny Morozov, a scholar at Stanford who has been the most persistent of digital evangelism’s critics, points out that Twitter had scant internal significance in Moldova, a country where very few Twitter accounts exist. Nor does it seem to have been a revolution, not least because the protests—as Anne Applebaum suggested in the Washington Post—may well have been a bit of stagecraft cooked up by the government.
The Guardian, meanwhile, summarises the article, and asks Clay Shirky what he thinks.