An anonymous reader writes "Social media is ill-suited to promoting real social change, argues Malcolm Gladwell in this article from The New Yorker magazine. He deftly debunks conventional wisdom surrounding the impact of Twitter, Facebook and other social media in driving systemic social change, comparing them to the organizational strategies of the 1960s civil rights movement. For example, the Montgomery bus boycott, he argues, was successful because it was driven by the disciplined and hierarchically organized NAACP. In contrast, a loose, social-media style network wouldn't have sustained the year long campaign. He concludes that social media promote social 'weak ties' which are not strong enough to motivate people to take big risks, such as imprisonment or attack, for social change."