The Democratization of Information
Information has traditionally been ruled and disseminated by a select few. Social media and the Read/Write web have changed that. The power of information has been taken over. The people have risen up to claim what is rightfully theirs. Information has been democratized by this technological revolution. Social media allows statistical groups to decide. “The resulting judgments of these “statistical groups” can be remarkable accurate. If we have access to many minds, we might trust the average response, a point that bears on the foundations of democracy itself”(Sustein, 2006, p.17).
Social media is allowing majority rule in terms of information creation and dissemination. The reality is that prior to this revolution, knowledge was controlled by an oligarchy. But now, the power of information and knowledge is controlled by the people. A prime example of this is seen in the Streisand Effect. This example shows that when someone tries to remove information, the people rise up.
Why is it that so many people are opposed to Wikipedia? Why do they still stand in opposition even after studies show that Wikipedia is more accurate than traditionally vetted encyclopedias? What is really in question here? Is it that we don’t trust Wikipedia, or that we don’t trust the fundamental principles that democracy rest on?
This is an incomplete thought and/or post. More will follow, but I am so excited to think about how the control of information has truly shifted from an elite few to the people.