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Instantaneous online platforms difficult to digest

Author: Prof. Ian Goldin

Categories: Data, Government, Social Media, Technology
Ian Goldin: "I mean we’re still grappling to understand what it means. Social technologies again have immense power. We’ve seen how they’ve been used in very, very positive ways in the Arab Spring for example, in many other places where they’ve become a real political force. The impact for example of Wiki, closing its website effectively for 24 hours on the political process in the US was quite remarkable, it led to the reversal of legislation. So very rapid new forms of political mobilisation have resulted. We’ve also seen how it’s lead to the collapse of reputations, photographs of the Gulf, oilfields for example, have led to very, very serious loss of value for shareholders. And this will continue. I think the danger with it of course is that there’s a lot of herding, there’s a lot of trivia and discerning in this deluge – data deluge, what’s significant, what matters and what one shouldn’t absorb is the biggest challenge. So it’s like drinking from a fire hydrant, very difficult to do effectively. And that power is only going to increase over time. So working out what we absorb, how we absorb it, how we learn from it I think is going to be absolutely critical."
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