Social network users are beginning to recognize the potency of their power as grass roots social and political groups are rapidly forming. Just look at what happened this week on Facebook. "Social networking has taken on a radical new edge after a Facebook campaign forced HSBC bank to reverse plans to cancel interest-free overdrafts to new graduates," the Independent reported.
"No longer do eco-warriors have to rely solely on sit-ins and protests. Anti-poverty campaigners now have a platform that allows them to constantly update their message. And local activists can tackle issues such as supermarket expansion plans without leaving their living rooms. Today's revolts are mounted from the mousepad."
Thousands of Facebookers joined the "Stop the Great HSBC Graduate Rip-Off" group, and eventually, after boycotting the bank, they got their point across. HSBC caved, saying they weren't "too big to listen to the needs of customers."
Businesses -- beware. One success tends to lead to another.
US networking site expert, Steve Huff comments on what's going on in North America. "It's a trend that I've noticed over here especially in the last year, where people all over the country form online groups to campaign for a single issue", he said. "I'm not sure yet that they do achieve change, but I would like to think that something can be achieved, if only in establishing a connection between people."
Imagine the power these groups have -- if you thought bullying was bad when you were in high school, imagine what could happen in today's age. If it hasn't happened already, then it's only a matter of time before virtual bullying appears. Imagine the impact a group of "cool kids" could have on some poor, unfortunate "loser." How was Hollywood not written a script like this yet? Like Mean Girls but more web focused. Photos, videos, blogs about rivals or class outcast. And how have the geeks not sought revenge? They have the saavy to defame just about any "popular" kid that has ever treated them badly.
Revenge of the Nerds 2.0, anyone?