Who doesn’t have Facebook these days? I can tell you who does! According to Facebook stats, more than 500 million were mobile monthly active users as of April 20, 2012. Crazy, right? Without a doubt, a large, vocal audience actively uses Facebook and other social media outlets. A recent ASPA National Blog discussed the influence of social media on public policy. Sure, the nature of social media allows quick transmission of news AND opinions, but does that translate into political influence?
Let’s consider the KONY 2012 video. Within a few short days of the nearly 30 minute clip, the number of views was growing rapidly…and today, there are over 90,000,000 views. The video was trying to promote an effort to bring attention the Invisible Children group and their cause. Yet, this attention did not seem to live up to the hype. Many variables may have contributed to this lapse, but with 90,000,000 views, you can’t argue they’ve increased awareness.
So, the question then- does social media influence public policy? What are your thoughts? IF social media has the power to shape policy, how can it be positively harnessed? Should it be monitored and controlled with policy?
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