Of course, the so called social media have changed the public sphere. With reference to that I’ve recently found a quite inspiring point of view showing the ambiguity of the whole web-2.0-thing:
On the one hand, civil society creates its own newsticker streams via Twitter and Facebook timelines with its own content. It is different from the content in corporate media. On the other hand, if you surround yourself with real-life friends only on these platforms a social network turns Biedermeier-style: Closed circles, no outsiders looking in, you are very much entre nous, no one interfering. So, although we receive news over these new channels, in fact there is no danger of anything completely new coming through. And that’s a striking difference between social media and, say, mailing lists and usenet [where you mostly meet people you do not meet in other contexts].
If that ain’t clear enough, let me tell you what Biedermeier really means. It means that you make yourself comfortable in a cosy non-political world. It’s a synonym for the lack of new ideias. It means: „Don’t bother me!“ Which – as a result – does also mean a decent but effective form of censorship.
Are you still wondering what this might have to do with a site like Facebook?