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“Small Change” and “The Facebook Dilemma “ Comparison

In his thought-provoking article titled “Small Change,” printed in The New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell posits that social web platforms do not profoundly transform the nature of societal revolutions. Citing civil rights struggles that started in 1960 in Greensboro, North Carolina, Gladwell proves that real-time, online media is not an indispensable aspect in organizing and implementing a far-reaching revolution. He asserts that online media such as Twitter and Facebook enhance only connectivity (Gladwell). Similarly, the documentary titled The Facebook Dilemma presents exhaustive investigations of Facebook’s effect on user privacy and democracy in the United States and beyond. Using rare footage and original interviews, the two-phased television episode cautions the company to emphasize its core intended purpose. The use of new online media channels neither precludes nor necessitates social activism as depicted in Gladwell’s critique and the documentary.

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Gladwell’s article provides deep insights into the impact of using modern technology such as social media to initiate real revolution and deconstructs the theme of social activism and online media. In efforts to attain change, channels such as Facebook and Twitter only draw people who have little attachment and cannot strongly champion the common course compared with the physical engagement seen in the Greensboro struggle. From his perspective, he notes that such channels only help to mobilize differently in a way that might not result in drastic activism. Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms enable networking in a manner that is opposite in character and structure. Contrarily, the documentary reveals how Facebook has been exploited by various factions in society to successfully propagate activism, misinformation, and other unethical acts. In a mind-boggling revelation, Facebook and other popular social networking platforms have gradually replaced the old order of activism evidenced by sheer success in civil rights movements and other social change protests witnessed across the world in recent times.

Further, Gladwell’s write-up asserts that social media can facilitate and accomplish changes with lesser ramifications unlike those attained through the physical organization. The overall reflection portrays a stance that real activism cannot happen on the Internet. On the contrary, The Facebook Dilemma highlights how real change can happen through new social web tools. For instance, the analysis of Iran protests and the Arab uprising, especially in Egypt, and Tunisia, affirms that online media is useful in mobilizing and accomplishing real change. Twitter provided a platform that expanded, encouraged, fuelled, and communicated ideas in the same way as television did during the Civil Rights period. Therefore, this indicates that social change can successfully occur online just as it happened in the pre-Internet days.

In addition, both the article and documentary underpin the role of social networking platforms in enhancing global connections. Facebook had the main focus of creating a connected and more open world. However, this vision has been distorted, and the firm has failed to protect users’ data. It has also witnessed unprecedented proliferation and dissemination of fake news coupled with calls of democracy meddling across the globe. The misinformation, propaganda, and little user privacy have been exploited by unscrupulous players to attain desired interest (Lowry). The documentary does not present simple answers to the problems Facebook faces but provides sobering insights that pointedly framed real issues at hand and focus on the high stakes involved.

In conclusion, the paper emphatically compares Gladwell’s article and the documentary The Facebook Dilemma about the role of new online media channels in social change. Irrespective of some differences between the two sources, both affirm the idea that in the current technological era, proclaiming that change meaningful change cannot be championed and realized through available online channels seems perplexing. As discussed above, some countries partly employed and executed their revolution through social media, eventually leading to the toppling of the dictatorial regimes.

References

Gladwell, Malcolm. “Small Change: Why The Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted.” The New Yorker, 2010. Web.

Lowry, Brian. “The Facebook Dilemma, Tackles ‘Slow’ Response to Bad Things” CNN, 2018. Web.

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StudyCorgi. "“Small Change” and “The Facebook Dilemma “ Comparison." August 6, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/small-change-and-the-facebook-dilemma-comparison/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "“Small Change” and “The Facebook Dilemma “ Comparison." August 6, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/small-change-and-the-facebook-dilemma-comparison/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) '“Small Change” and “The Facebook Dilemma “ Comparison'. 6 August.

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