Republican Senator Richard Luger is recommending the United States take full advantage of the growing social media boom taking place in Latin American. Luger, a ranking member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released a report this week outlining changes taking place in Latin American and the ways in which the United States could take full advantage of the situation using social media.
Social media has proven itself an effective tool for marketing your business and for toppling totalitarian regimes. social media played a huge role in the democratic revolutions which swept through the Middle East this past spring. Some hope the power of social media can be used to solidify the sometimes wobbly democratic governments of South America.
And why not? Social media is arguably the most powerful communication tool ever created by human kind. It allows instantaneous sharing of events and ideas across wide distances. What happens in your backyard can be streamed immediately to backyards 12,000 miles away, or just down the street. Your neighbors do not need to suffer in anonymity. You can see their stories, read their heart-ache and share their grief and frustration at the problems which vex their community.
In this way social media is a more powerful tool than any army ever amassed before. The person,or people, who wield the strength of social media stand the best chance of having their voices heard and their grievances addressed.
The report, titled “Latin American Governments Need to ‘Friend’ Social Media and Technology,” compiled by Carl Meacham at the behest of Republican Indiana Sen. Richard G. Lugar, outlined recommendations for the U.S. Department of State.
“Opportunities abound in the region to make government more effective in the provision of services through social media and information platforms. These technologies can allow for individuals to engage more effectively in the formation and function of their own societies,” Lugar said.
Citing America’s “vested interest in the spread of Internet connectivity in Latin American countries for many reasons,” Lugar said, “These include Latin America’s status as one of the United States’ fastest growing export markets. The growth of this market provides the opportunity for innovation and commercial gains for United States technological industry and for Latin American entrepreneurs.”
Lugar asked the State Department to take steps to enhance support for social media usage in the region. He argued, “At a time when U.S. political influence is waning in the region, it is clear that U.S.-driven technological trends could redefine relationships with many countries in Latin America interested in this technology.”
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