I found Morozov’s points in his short piece this week fairly inane. He discusses how quotes are now qualified with the medium they came in, but this isn’t a new phenomenon. In newspaper articles and television news, reporters always qualify quotes with where they got them if they didn’t get them directly from the person. While reporters may have evolved to include new technology as a source it’s not a revolutionary practice. Morozov’s argument that revolutions that involve social media like many of the Arab Spring uprisings, are not actually different or “revolutionary” from previous ones without social media is seemingly contradicted by his opening argument about Mao’s quote.
In contrast to Morozov’s pessimistic view, Hillicon Valley’s report on the State Departments abandonment of America.gov was far more encouraging about social media use in international relations. I was surprised the State Department abandoned America.gov because government infrastructure and information dissemination is stereotypically non-innovative. The creation of America.gov and the move to social media reminded me of the trend moving more journalism online. Through that change and the government’s decision to leave America.gov one can clearly see the important role social media plays in informing the public.