Tom Standage in the article “History Retweets Itself” provides a comprehensive analysis of the contradicting viewpoints of Sherry Turkle and Zeynep Tufecki. Turkle stresses on the harms of social media while Tufecki emphasizes on the benefits. The article is published in the book, “Writing on the Wall- Social Media the First 2,000 years” in 2014. The original audience includes students.
The author is motivated by the increased dependence of students and youth of social media. The use of social media increased by easy access to the internet, so Tom wants to evaluate its implications and role in society. He is inspired by the fact that social media is used as a platform for expressing freedom.
His central claim is visible in paragraph 5, "greater freedom of expression, means that bad ideas will proliferate as well as good ones, but it also means that bad ideas are more likely to be challenged” (p. 81). This explains that freedom of expression on social media involve bad consequences as well. He claims that social media not only gives freedom for sharing bad ideas but also promote negative things.
Tom supported his argument by highlighting the benefits and consequences. He included findings of McKinsey and Company that reveals that social networking is an effective tool for increasing employees productivity by 20 to 25 percent. To support his claims of disadvantages, he added an example of companies that banned social media use among employees CITATION Apr08 \l 1033 (Lidinsky and Greene).
The author has incorporated rhetoric tools of logos, ethos, and pathos for persuading the audience. The article is well structured as it covers both sides of the argument. The use of facts adds evidentiary support to the argument.
The conversation is focused on the practical implications of social media. Tom, Dana, and Blum explain how social media has transformed the concepts of freedom, democracy and civilization.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Lidinsky, April and Stuart Greene. From Inquiry to Academic Writing: A Text and Reader. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2008.
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