The authors this week had very compelling, yet mixed arguments. Hindman advocates that infrastructure matters. Cohn suggests that the U.S. government should be involved in social media to make them more available.
Hindman argues that there is a distinction on the Internet on production of material and what actually gets read. There is a lot of noise on the Internet, but what actually gets read can actually have an effect on mobilization. He is providing a proposal distinction of HOW the social media gets used. As such, Hindman is giving a mixed argument where what we see is that in certain conditions the social media is useful, and in other conditions it is not. He finds that social media does not provide a deliberate forum. This does not mean that the Internet is necessarily bad for democracy because it still gains some equal representation and touches on some normative democracy norms for some people who didn’t have it before.
Cohn’s suggestion is being taken in by the U.S. government, as they are now on facebook and twitter. It is a down-up, rather than a top-down movement. The U.S. government is being proactive. This does not correspond with the idea that democracy comes by itself as a result from social media. However, I do not find that this will help the U.S. state department strategically. It is not guaranteed that using social networking platforms will go beyond being tactical. Do you agree with this?