You may have come across this news about a Columbian Facebook group set up to denounce FARC – reported by the BBC amongst others.
If you’re thinking that this is a great example of the power of social networking (which it is!) it’s worth having a glance at this OpenDemocracy article:
Colombia: networks of dissent and power
A Facebook-hosted protest in Colombia raises questions about the character and effect of new-media-based political mobilisation
Catalina Holguín, 4 Feb 2008
It makes some interesting general points on how “the web’s combination of instantaneity and ‘formlessness’ can be double-edged, in that it makes protest of this kind also vulnerable to co-option by those with a far more elaborate and power-driven political agenda”, and “excludes the victims of the (rightwing) ‘paramilitary holocaust’ who are still waiting for promised “truth, justice, and reparations”
Useful as a cautionary tale when considering the potential of Web2.0 participation – whether you’re a campaigner (who is your campaign really helping) or a decision maker (what’s been lost in the simplification process)