How the 16th century invented social media - The Economist
noah emrich

Five centuries before Facebook and the Arab spring, social media helped bring about the Reformation This article originally appeared in the 2011 Christmas double issue of The Economist. It is a familiar-sounding tale: after decades of simmering discontent a new form of media gives opponents of an authoritarian regime a way to express their views, register their solidarity and co-ordinate their actions.