The destructive power of the press becomes even more marked when spread with new technologies. In the 1850s, the telegraph confronted Americans with a steady stream of virtually instant information: contradictory, confusing, overlapping and inaccurate, it scrambled and intensified the political climate. Today, social media is doing the same. At its heart, democracy is a continuing conversation between politicians and the public; it should come as no surprise that dramatic changes in the modes of conversation cause dramatic changes in democracies themselves.
The Violence at the Heart of Our Politics, by Joanne B. Freeman, 7 September 2018