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Blog // Connect Michigan

The Increasing Impact of Social Media in Politics

By Wil Payton

Nearly 200,000 phone calls, 7 million online signatures, and over 2.4 million tweets opposing the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) recently demonstrated how social media has become a force to be reckoned with in today’s political arena.

Forty-eight hours of online activism, and over 1,000 protesters showing up in person, stopped legislation being promoted by some of the most powerful lobbies in Washington D.C.

Below is an excerpt from a Washington Post article on the emergence of social media —and the technology world — as a phenomenon akin to awakening a sleeping giant.

You’ve read how Facebook and Twitter fueled the Arab Spring uprising. You are watching the videos coming out of Syria on Facebook. But most likely you have not witnessed the power of social media impacting politics in near real time right here at home in America. Sure, activism groups and politicians have tapped social media to raise money. But to date, no flash mob has ever stopped a bill in its tracks or beaten down in less than 48-hours legislation pushed by some of the most well-funded, well-connected lobbies on K Street. But that’s exactly what happened on Jan. 20 when a loosely organized campaign to stop PIPA and SOPA swept the Internet and shook the power structure of Washington D.C.

As a result, we have entered an entirely new and exciting era of politics.

To read the full article click here and be sure to follow Connect Michigan on Facebook and Twitter for more articles on how technology impacts your life!

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