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How the Internet Is Disrupting Politics

Just as it has in many industries, the Internet has undercut the power of established political institutions.

Bill Pugliano / Getty Images

Over the past two decades, the Internet has lowered barriers to entry in a wide variety of industries. As a result, once-dominant institutions have seen their power — and in some cases their existence — threatened.

In the book industry, Amazon has destroyed traditional booksellers. In the music industry, online services like iTunes and Pandora have undercut the power of traditional record labels. Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft have undercut the power of traditional taxicab companies that once had a stranglehold on major urban markets.

Now it’s happening in the political system. Social media and a proliferation of online news organizations are undercutting the power of political and media elites, resulting in an electoral system that’s more open — and more chaotic — than ever before.

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