Vicky Beeching has taken a look at “How social media could swing the vote for women bishops” in The Guardian, which includes the following gem:
Social media is a strange animal. It sometimes appears as a winged horse, enabling our aspirations for free speech and people power to take flight, and sometimes as a hyena, sniffing out the worst of human nature, devouring our manners and vomiting up banal content. Scepticism about its value to campaigns is understandable; after all, millions of Twitter accounts lie abandoned and unchecked. Much energy can be spent lobbying in cyberspace, speaking to avatars that may be listening or may simply be the ghosts of people long gone. Yet despite their Schrödinger-esque limitations, these digital channels still possess the potential to rattle top-down institutions and give the masses a megaphone.
One institution ripe for some grassroots disruption is the Church of England. The voices of those in the pews are not always reflected in the policies made, and the election of leaders happens very indirectly. The decision about women bishops lies in the hands of the General Synod, so the rest of us are left waiting, wondering whether our wishes will be represented. For this reason we felt the Yes2WomenBishops campaign was vital. Our hope is to create an upward flow of information in a very top-down institution; to send a message from the grassroots to the leadership.
Worth taking a look at the whole article, not just for the comments on women bishops, but on the use of social media in communicating between people who make the church decisions and people in the pews.
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