This piece was right up my alley, +Mike Elgan
! My favorite line from your article is: "Of course, when public opinion is divided, the power of social media neutralizes itself."
It stumped me because I wondered, "is that really true?" Today, what is public opinion? Social media breaks barriers and rids us of that "geographical isolation" you mentioned. The public is no longer the people of New York or even the people of the United States - the public is now whomever with an internet connection. Globalization has found its way into every industry - and as a result, the public identity
appears to have gone. At least, the general public. Awakens the discussion of whether or not we lose our identity once we turn on a computer and engage with a globalized community.
Governments need to be more conscientious and examine the opinion of the international community. Appeasing their people and/ or their government is no longer enough - and as you've mentioned, social media and PR is terribly difficult to control. In some form, they're losing their market and "public" and whether we like it or not, they're scared. Really, really, really enjoyed reading this article! :)