We now believe that the “how” of a communicative act is of huge importance. We would say that Mao posted that power comes from the barrel of a gun on his Facebook page, or we would say that he blogged about gun barrels on Tumblr—and eventually, as the apostles of new media wrestled with the implications of his comments, the verb would come to completely overcome the noun, the part about the gun would be forgotten, and the the (sic) big takeaway would be: Whoa. Did you see what Mao just tweeted?
/via News Desk: Does Egypt Need Twitter? : The New Yorker.
This is completely missing the point. The tools Mao used when he communicated weren’t important because he was the establishment. He was the elite. He had his choice of tools to broadcast. Social media means more people have access to broadcast tools. The tool is important only in the way that it modifies the status quo. The content of the message is still the most important thing. The difference is now we are hearing the message of the young street protester broadcast to the world, rather than the voice of Mao. How people communicate does matter if the choice is between yelling in a street, broadcasting to the world, or as Rob Hyndman mentions, shooting someone.