TED Blog

Clay Shirky

Amy Cuddy must be proud: Clay Shirky walks on stage and promptly strikes a power pose. Then he tells us of a 9-year-old Scottish girl who lives about 50 miles from here. Martha Payne started the foodblog NeverSeconds, for which she took her camera into school to document her lunches, using metrics such as „pieces of hair found in food.“ First, she acquired dozens, then hundreds, then thousands of readers. Until, two weeks ago, when she posted that she’d been shut down by her head teacher. No more photos from the lunch room.

„You can guess what happened next,“ says Shirky to laughs and applause. „The outrage was so swift, so voluminous, so unanimous that the council reversed itself the same day. ‚We would never censor a 9-year-old,‘ they said. Except for this morning.“ Shirky asks the obvious question: „What made them think they could get away from this?“ The…

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