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Illusions of Empowerment: Re-Interpreting the Blogger’s Social Media Dream

Corinne Weisgerber
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Corinne Weisgerber: St. Edward’s University, USA

International Journal of Interactive Communication Systems and Technologies (IJICST), 2012, vol. 2, issue 1, 36-51

Abstract: This article calls into question the social media empowerment narrative and the underlying idea that social media platforms are empowering everyday netizens to have their voices heard. The author argues that social media technologies may simply privilege only those Internet users who are new media savvy and have leisure time to participate in the so-called digital democracy. While social media systems might have lowered the entrance threshold for civic engagement, hurdles such as the growing competition in an attention economy, the odds of standing out amidst millions of other individual voices, knowledge of new media technologies required to achieve visibility, and time demands make the social media empowerment vision more difficult to attain than the architects of the empowerment ideology have made the public to believe.

Date: 2012
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