Of course, the Komen story seems to have been driven as much by mainstream media coverage as netizen revolt. And another online phenomenon of recent months — the Kony 2012 video that briefly focused the nation's attention on an obscure Ugandan warlord — took its own quirky path.
Indeed, all three stories — the SOPA campaign, the Komen controversy, the Kony video — can be viewed as standalone exceptions, says Nicco Mele, who served as webmaster for Howard Dean's presidential campaign and now teaches classes on the impact of the Internet on media and politics at Harvard's Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy.
But collectively, he says, they suggest something more — "that the political institutions of the United States are in flux." In flux, indeed.
David Scharfenberg can be reached at email@example.com.
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