Gladwell Response

In his piece entitled “Small Change Why the Revolution Won’t be Tweeted” Malcolm Gladwell tackles the idea of social media bringing about revolutions.  Gladwell does not believe that social media can be an effective means to bring about revolutions.  His main argument against social media and revolutions is that social media is based on weak ties.  He says the reason that the sit in in Woolworth’s in Greensboro, North Carolina was that the group had such strong ties.  He says that the people who took part in the sit in all went to the same college.  He says that they knew each other and shared the same set of beliefs.  Gladwell argues that revolutions are started by people who are friends.  They require strong bonds that cannot and do not exist on social media.

I agree with a lot of what Gladwell has to say but there is one thing that bothers me.  He talks about social media has weak ties between people.  That is true a lot of the time but it is not the rule.  Gladwell seems to be ignoring the fact the people follow their friends on Twitter.  He acts like people who interact on social media have never met each other in person.  That is the only real flaw I find in his argument.


  1. I agree with Nick’s response advocating for the presence of social networks themselves, given that they actually encourage updated information on friends, and provide newfound or lost friendships.

  2. I do agree that the Gladwell assumes that everyone on the internet is a complete stranger to each other, or hold no strong bond whatsoever. But yet that’s not always the case, and even if, I think we can all relate as human beings when we see something that’s worth speaking up about and help each other in any way we can.

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