Has Malcolm Gladwell’s Opinion on Social Media and the Arab Spring Changed?

The New Yorker writer and author Malcolm Gladwell made headlines around the Internet when his essay “Small Change: Why the revolution will not be tweeted” was published in October 2010. He argued that Internet activism diminishes in-the-streets activism. Many technology writers respectfully disagreed. He revisits the topic in this video shot in November with Ariel Levy, also a staff writer for The New Yorker. Do you think he’s right?

Social Media and the New Political Landscape: Full Video


On Sunday, October 21st, Buzzfeed.com’s Ben Smith moderated a panel on social media and the new political landscape featuring New York Times Media Reporter Brian Stelter, Changetheratio.com founder Rachel Sklar and journalism legend Dan Rather. Asked about how social media might have altered the course of the Watergate scandal, Rather says the Nixon administration would have used social media “to play defense by playing offense.” Stelter pointed to social media as a “megaphone” campaigns have never had before. Sklar referenced the coverage of Congressman Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments as an example of the power of social media.

Marissa Mayer: I Was Gender Blind

The coverage of Marissa Mayer’s move to Yahoo! often makes note of her being one of the few women executives in Silicon Valley – and in corporate America in general. When she was at 92Y, Mayer talked about the perceptions and misconceptions surrounding girls and women who pursue science, math and technology. Enthusiasm for her move was led by those that saw Yahoo! losing the battle, badly, to Google’s vision for AI. Her former employer uses natural processing of language to deliver better search results. Many looked at Yahoo! and saw a company that was more than ever not on the cutting edge.

Andy Borowitz: Beware the Rise of the Amateur

Humorist, author and writer for The New Yorker, Andy Borowitz, cites the rise of reality television culture in our country’s embrace of the amateur. This might be acceptable for entertainment talent shows, but as a trend that spills into the political arena, it has potentially disastrous effects. He says, at a time when complex problems need complex solutions, we should be seeking out the most exceptional and most experienced leaders, not amateurs, to be our elected officials.

While he jokes that the current state of affairs often leaves us with two options, sob uncontrollably or laugh, we can all agree on another: educate and vote. What do you think?

Donald Rumsfeld: Something More than “Keep Shopping”?

You probably remember President Bush’s advice to Americans to “keep shopping” after the 9/11 attacks. It has generated controversy ever since he said it. Find out what Donald Rumsfeld, one of Bush’s closest advisers and then Secretary of Defense, thought of it.

Donald Rumsfeld served as Secretary of Defense  under both Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush.

Edward-Isaac Dovere: Explaining the Obama Drone Program

POLITICO White House Editor Edward-Isaac Dovere, recently spoke with us about the controversial Obama drone program. Dovere touched on how the Obama administration has changed the definition of “imminent” when talking about attacks. He also looked at the role of Congress in the program.

“The Obama administration has made clear that they are going forward with the drone strike program in a way that doesn’t require them to give any information to the members of the Senate or House,” Dovere said.

On Congress, Dovere commented “They can’t even tell if there is something they should be having oversight of in a different way or that they should be objecting to because they don’t know what’s going on.”

Do you favor the Obama administration’s drone program? Leave a comment!

92nd Street Y’s Campaign for the American Conversation is partnering with POLITICO to bring you “Political Speak,” a series of compelling videos with POLITICO’s renowned editors and correspondents analyzing the major political topics that define our time.  For more, go to 92yamericanconversation.org and POLITICO.com.