Mass Newtown Shooting Sparks Mass Social Media Action


Social Change?
The discussion of the issues after Newtown seems much louder than in the wake of Aurora, but Marcia Stepanek, the author of the forthcoming book "Swarms: The Rise of the Digital Anti-Establishment," says she's not yet seeing the kind of behavior last winter that surrounded the SOPA and PIPA Internet bills in Congress -- large movements that could bring serious change. Or at least not yet.

"We're not seeing swarm activity," Stepanek told ABC News. "This is a more tempered response where people are airing calls to action around the need for something to be done. It still seems people are using Twitter and Facebook to air very strong opinions rather than organized network activity. It's viral outrage but not viral action ... yet."

There's no predicting what will happen next in the social media realm and whether it will push change. But as President Obama promised to "engage" on the issue, the social media masses might be the ones that make sure he keeps his word.

"I think what it [social media] has the potential to do is to hold his feet to the fire," Fine said. "When, a week from now, there isn't movement, the social networks can play an enormous part to say 'we are still here.' That's where they can keep alive issues that would have gotten quieter before."

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