Social technology isn't guaranteed to be a force for good in the world, writes Evgeny Morozov. Social tools can be harnessed to spread disinformation and discord just as easily as they can be used to promote democracy, Morozov argues, citing Iran's state-run e-mail service and Saudi Arabia's online incarnation of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. "Facebook and Twitter empower all groups -- not just the pro-Western groups that we like," he adds. "Authoritarian governments ... [a]re already using the Internet to fight the challenges posed by modernity."
Published in Brief: