When 2GB suspended advertising from Alan Jones' show, its flagship program, it signalled something major and new in the national public debate.
The forces marshalled via Twitter and Facebook have paralysed one of the nation's most powerful broadcasters, flummoxed commentators and left politicians and the 'legacy' media spinning.
What is new is not the outrage or the sheer volume of comment that built up, but the way public sentiment was harnessed. No-one will accuse the social media of being inconsequential any longer, because the online campaigners against Alan Jones found a way of focusing the consumer power of the public.
Conservatives, shocked by the shift, now see themselves as victims of a new form of mob rule, calling it bullying and censorship. But signing petitions and calling for boycotts are neither of these things. They are examples of freedom of expression, plain and simple; it's just that their message is loud, clear and crushingly effective compared to previous expressions of public disgust.
Whether consumer energy will be harnessed only in the service of progressive political causes, however, is another question entirely.
Nick Feik Politicoz Editor
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Cyber Backlash Forces Jones To Take Commercial Break
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