We’ve all got a volume control on mob rule

This is the title of a chapter in my book in which I suggest that we all get to choose on the internet which stories we share, which we choose to refute, which we ignore and which we elaborate on. We can now do this rapidly and in large numbers.

Watching the surge of support for Jeremy Clarkson, the high levels of engagement in the Scottish referendum, or the bravery of The Arab Spring, we clearly have a powerful tool at our disposal. Whether the impact of any of those is good or bad depends very much on the perspective of the beholder but that their potency is a sign of things to come seems undeniable.

A lot of what motivates me in my work is the belief that the more of us become active online, and learn to operate as a filter, consciously managing the memes that swirl around the internet and our collective awareness, the more likely we are to arrive at a good place.

We will increasingly sit on a knife edge between the wisdom of the crowd and the madness of the mob. Each of us gets to decide moment by moment which. Exciting and scary at the same time.

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