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I'll agree with AT that the Internet is underrated as a catalyst.
But I think it's also underrated as a medium of spontaneous collaborative action. Herr Guttenblag would never have been rumbled in the days of print, because there would have been no way for a group of people to:
Find copies of the PhD
Collaborate to find and summarise evidence
Share, publish and control the story
Effectively the Internet became Guttenbad's supervisor and peer review of last resort - and it not only failed him, it humiliated him. (Even if it turns out there was a political conspiracy against him, this still remains true; the conspiracy needed evidence, and it found it.)
This isn't something completely new. King Leopold of Belgium's criminal operation was toppled by a couple of dedicated journos. But they had to collect evidence, give talks, and write for print. They weren't hobbyists. And it took them years.
Now a group of enthusiasts can apply similar leverage within days - see also Wikileaks, Anonymous, etc.
So it's becoming easier to create and control a story without owning the media. That's not a small change - it's literally a revolutionary one.
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