Last month images of massive riots in Brazil exploded onto the world’s television screens. The situation demonstrated how a single message sent to receivers via cell phone could end in turning the world’s attention to one single, momentary hot spot on the planet.
As one observer commented, “Something changed in Brazil and we’re still trying to figure out what really happened. Suddenly everybody is out on the streets protesting against problems that are so old they are considered part of the Brazilian culture by now. [O]ne aspect really stands out and that is how big of a role online social networks played in the planning and organization of all these movements” (Collaborative Consumption, July 4).