Can Facebook Save the World
November 20, 2008 8:34 AM Subscribe
"Can Facebook defeat terrorism?"
posted by cal71 (27 comments total)
7 users marked this as a favorite
wonders Matt Armstrong
. A conference
of both web and social entrepreneurs, policy wonks, and activists will convene to create a how-to guide for changing the world through social networking tools. Jared "Children of Jihad
" Cohen was a driving force behind the initiative. We've seen social networking impact an election
, while others are already trying to change the world with it
. This conference, while exciting and important, raises a few questions. Just look at the list who's convening it: "Facebook, Google, YouTube, MTV, Howcast, Columbia Law School and the U.S. Department of State Convene the Alliance of Youth Movements Summit."As Steve Corman notes:
"...merely giving Facebook (or other social networking technologies) to people in other terrorism hotspots will probably do little until the right social conditions develop for them to have an imact. Facebook, by itself, is not enough to cause social movements that can defeat terrorism." Well said.
Aren't the unique cultural conditions in each of these "hot spots" being ignored under the relatively new (and market-driven) idea of "global youth culture"? MTV is one of the organizers of this event, and they are certainly invested in promoting a global youth culture (read Naomi Klein's No Logo
, ch 5 for more on this). Is this the apotheosis of certain brand identities, the moment when corporations merge with the government and with the left simultaneously? Will this initiative address the challenges of creating peaceful dialogue among cultures, or simply become overly enamored of the tools at its disposal? Do young people want their social networking time to be productive?
Could Spam bring it all down? What about the digital divide? Shouldn't we be focusing on the more pressing technological issues
that most people face? Can we do both at the same time?
I'm very curious to hear feedback from the Blue on this.