Social media has significantly altered many aspects of the balance of power. It has given a voice to ordinary people and made it more difficult for power to hide that which it finds inconvenient or embarrassing.
Yesterday evening, an ever expanding group of sick and disabled people, carers and families launched an e-petition demanding an independent, cumulative review of the impact of changes to the welfare and benefits system.
Mention online activism and you can trigger some extreme reactions. At one end of the spectrum are people who believe the future is all about Facebook, Twitter and online petitions. At the other, those who scoff at the very idea, seeing it as an excuse for laziness and pointing out that Facebook and Twitter are powerful corporations that we should be opposing.
Digital democracy and the huge expansion of social media is transforming political action and diplomacy, says Dr Harry Hagopian, who has been expanding his own involvement in that arena, not least due to his regular podcasts on developments in the Middle East and North Africa. He looks especially at social media's impact in that region.
Today (19 November 2012) at 12.30pm the latest phase of a big online campaign to raise awareness about the injustices wrought by the flawed Work Capability Assessment (WCA), which is being used to block vitally needed benefits for many sick and disabled people, becomes visible.