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A dictatorship of idiots?

Critics of websites such as Wikipedia and MySpace claim they are eroding expertise and denuding the public sphere. Today's media may not be perfect, says james crabtree, but would anyone really want to put the clock back?

By James Crabtree   August 2007

The Cult of the Amateur, by Andrew Keen (Nicholas Brealey Publishing, £12.99)

Gordon Brown recently described MySpace, the website on which teenagers write about themselves, as Britain’s largest youth club. Mark Zuckerberg, the 23-year-old founder of Facebook, which consists of profiles of its users’ daily lives, was offered $1bn for his company last year. And this July, YouTube, home to millions of banal amateur videos, will achieve more hits in Britain than BBC Online. Just when it seemed we had emerged from the hubris of the internet bubble, the technological revolution is back. Welcome to Web 2.0.

The phrase “Web…

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