SZABO: Social Media Has Enabled People-Driven Politics, So Why Regulate It?

Throughout history, established interests worry whenever more power is given to the people. When Guttenberg unveiled the printing press it empowered “commoners” with a new way to disseminate information and ideas. Of course the Crown and Church worried about their loss of control which ultimately led to new religions and emerging democracies.

Social media is the modern-day printing press. Empowering people across the world to challenge the established powers that be. We wouldn’t have had movements like the Arab Spring, Occupy, MeToo, BlackLivesMatter, Haiti relief, or even the Ice Bucket Challenge were it not for social media connecting citizens.

Today, we are starting to see social media’s democratic power strike fear in the political establishment. The empowered elite realize that giving people more power to communicate and share information could be a threat to their control. 

The rise of digital connectivity has empowered “people–driven politics” in which we no longer need to ask the major political parties to add our issues to their agenda. The things we care about can be shared directly with a candidate or policymaker.

President Obama was dubbed the first “social media candidate.” Obama was never supposed to be on the final ballot — party leaders had already decided their

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