New Media Index: The Blogosphere Worries about Government Propaganda

May 31, 2012

Bloggers from both the right and left sides of the political spectrum united last week in overwhelmingly condemning the House passage of an amendment intended to modernize rules surrounding the dissemination of information. Both sides argued the bill was an overreach of government power, warning it would enable public officials and the military to disseminate propaganda to the American public. But they disagreed over who was responsible. Liberals feared the military and Republicans were trying to expand their influence while conservatives warned that President Obama would employ that power for political means.

The issue received negligible coverage in the mainstream media last week, reflecting the libertarian leanings and privacy concerns that are often present in social media. 

For the week of May 21-25, discussion over the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act was the No. 5 topic on blogs, according to the New Media Index from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. Almost all the bloggers who discussed the topic linked to the same report-a May 18 BuzzFeed article that offered details of the bill.

Read the full report, The Blogosphere Worries about Government Propaganda, on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism website.

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