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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Can social media help change the world?

March 12th, 2010
04:47 PM ET

A high-profile, deadly car accident in Moscow is demonstrating the power of the growing social media network in Russia.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/12/facebook.blog.jpg
caption="Do you think social media can make a difference?"]

Two women were killed when their car collided head-on with that of one of the vice-presidents of Lukoil, the country's largest oil company.

Russian State media and police were quick to blame the women who died in the accident.

But as a result of heated blogs calling for Lukoil boycotts, eye-witness testimony, and people shooting cell phone video and posting it on the Internet, authorities have been forced to conduct an official investigation.

Last year we also saw how the impact of social media affected the political situation in Iran after disputed elections.

Thousands of people were joined together through Facebook and Twitter and many used the sites to upload pictures of police brutality, organize marches and spread information.

We want to know what you think.

Do you think social media can really help change the world?

Let us know what you think by posting your comments below, and please tell us from where you are writing.


Filed under:  General
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Viking

    Yes absolutely social media is a catalyst and transformer of huge proportions. Its under the radar and cross-sector/cultures cuz its personal friends, networks – they mean more and affect deeper then the old world at times unpersonal public mediachannels does. I think alot of this is due to that media are owned by corporations to a large extent and the social networks are the publics/ordinary joe's opportunity to send signals back into the powercenters and hence the corporations and high up the ladder. The Voice of the People.

    Its worth while researching the synergism concept... the synergestic society and the global conciousness developed parallell within, once again, crossboarder, crossculture, crosspolitics.

    March 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  2. Keira

    YES!! Social media can totally change the world. It's instant information & we are an instant gratification society. Not to mention news (or even rumors) spread like wildfire. It can be both beneficial or detrimental but if used for 'good', then it is revolutionary.

    March 12, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  3. Aminu Abdullahi Abubakar

    Yes in the developed coutries, but in ours, third world countries-Nigeria- no amount of social media influence can change anything, and we dont know when ? But may be one day.

    March 12, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Reply
  4. anna

    Yes, in individuel cases it can give changes. But for the big problems in the World it doesn't, because although we see things more and quicker, the problems don't solve. We see the problems in Iran, but is there any changes??? People making problems and they are the only ones who can make the change

    March 12, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Reply
  5. @Bsalamati

    I'm not exactly sure what kind of "change" you mean. If you mean 'can social media change laws of nature', then the answer is NO, but if you mean 'can social media influence people's behavior and governments' policies?' then the answe is a big YES! In fact, to me, the influence of social media need not to be seen as a futuristic scenario; rather, social media have alredy changed the world, both at individual and social levels.

    Individually, just see how our coneption of "frindship", "being in touch", and "trust" have been influenced by Twitter or Facebook!

    Politically, just as you mentioned, twitter, facebook, and youtube have played an important role during Iran's post-electoral events. Note that the influence is not just on citizens to spread the word to the world, but also on governments. The Islamic Republic is also using technologies (mainly bought from NOKIA and SIEMENS) to monitor on people's online and street activities.

    I'm fairly sure that soon we enter a new era where the virtual reality becomes more important than the physical reality!

    March 12, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Reply
  6. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello friends,

    Social media can help change the world,
    that is why I urge everybody to use social media,
    so that our voices are being heard!
    Together we can paint a more complete picture of the world news!

    Advice
    Let us Now make our world
    a Better Healthier and Beautiful World
    for You and for Me!

    Greetings,
    Jurgen R. Brul
    Hometown: Paramaribo
    Country: Suriname
    Latin-American

    March 12, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Reply
  7. Reginald Tchume

    Social media is already effecting significant changes in our world. Just open your eyes and see how rapidly modern cultures undergo change due to the technology used by our social media to broadcast news: fashion trends, music rhythm and styles of all genres, foods and recipes, use of language, etc.. As a people, we naturally gravitate toward new information and trends as we get quickly bored with the old.

    March 13, 2010 at 9:20 am | Reply
  8. BaffaMustapha

    It has certainly changed my own life:news,knowledge,fun and most importantly,my English has drastically improved. But My world-Nigeria- may be as internet popularity continue to rise.

    March 13, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  9. NBP

    Im from Panama and, yes, absolutely I think social media is one of the best tools to comunicate all of thing, no matter what and it will be better used if its used to this matters or other likes that (family, planet, security, etc) instead to stimulate hatred...it means...we have to use to the rights things and forget matters like: "I HATE...", "DIE TO...", without mattering that those phrases are used for trivial things like "fomented hatred between fanatics of book sagas", for example, or more frightful things like "fomented the disappearance of any people".

    March 13, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  10. modester Aku from Nigeria

    Definetely, there wont be a better world without the social media. Thanks for those that have and are still making it possible with the introduction of new technology. Every one have benefitted in one way or the other.

    March 13, 2010 at 7:44 pm | Reply
  11. Nataliya

    Media are not in the power to change world, but they can certainly make a voice of important issues heard and let those know about things going in the world who are capable to make a change.

    March 13, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Reply
  12. Daniel

    Yes, of course, with social media can help the world if we use it right, but social media could hurt us. Before the internet you could keep things under wraps, but know the whole world could learn what some people who don't want to be on there

    March 14, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Reply
  13. Jesse Medford

    Just like the thousands of people on Facebook and Twitter that came together and utilized the assets of todays technology to influence the actions of the authorities in Russia, and to have the kind of outcome that was acceptable to the ordinary people because of the evidence that was published, this form of communication will have a huge impact on our society as it grows to larger numbers. We the people will speak out and be heard! JJM

    March 15, 2010 at 6:43 am | Reply
  14. YoungBen Ulebor

    The world being a "GLOBAL VILLAGE" Social Media can, to some extent, change it,especially when used for good.

    March 15, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Reply
  15. Nkem obi

    Yes,for instance, look at the facebook and see how it is helping people in difference part of the world,to communicate with one another,to share ideas.Infact it is a big benefit to the society in general. Nkem from Nigeria.

    March 15, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Reply

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