Evgeny Morozov holds that Twitter is a control tool of authoritarian regimes. By invoking Søren Kierkegaard and Twitter Morozov explains why Jurgen Habermas always a bit too euphoric.
Evgeny Morozov and Clay Shirky had a short exchange of views in January in Prospect and a short exchange of blows on the importance of Twitter to the early Iranian protest movements. Morozov pointed out that encouraging social networks like Twitter and Facebook, created points of control by the regime. Clay Shirky said then: "Even taking into account the increased availability of surveillance, the net value of social media has shifted the balance of power in the direction of Iran's citizens."
FAZ today crossposted today a meeting between Morozov Shirky for Edge.org titled "Digital Power and It's Discontents". Significantly, among others, Morozov takes on Søren Kierkegaard, Jürgen Habermas and Twitter:
I don't know if you've read Kierkegaard, but there are quite a few subtle undertones of Kierkegaard in my critique of Twitter-based activism. Kierkegaard happened to live during the very times that were celebrated by Habermas: cafes and newspapers were on the rise all over Europe, a new democratized public sphere was emerging. But Kiergeaard was growing increasingly concerned that there were too many opinions flowing around, that it was too easy to rally people behind an infinite number of shallow causes, that no one had strong commitment to anything. There was nothing that people could die for. Ironically, this is also one of my problems with the promiscuous nature of online activism: it cheapens our commitment to political and social causes that matter and demand constant sacrifice.