How can the Internet support social change?

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Social media offers exciting possibilities for social change, not just through support of explicitly political projects like MyBarackObama or MoveOn, but through the restructuring of personal relationships, social interactions and organizational dynamics. Nonprofits and social change leaders were some of the earliest adopters of social media because its ability to engage supporters mapped onto their focus on mobilizing and deepening supporter relationships. That's led to a range of innovations and experiences, from Flickr petitions to peer-to-peer fundraising to transnational mass advocacy.

But the social change potential of social media goes far beyond its use by political organizers, campaigners and NGOs. Individuals and organizations who use social media are subtly but profoundly transformed: in an atomized world, social media reconnects us to our communities, to one another, and to our own creative potential. From the most explicitly political online communities to the "frivolous" social networks that bring us back to our deeply social nature, social media is rewriting the rules for social change.

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