Assessing the potential of societal verification by means of new media
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The explosive growth of online social networking sites has been one of the dominant stories of the Internet era. Since their introduction in 1997, social networking sites are now common, with global leader Facebook boasting more than 1 billion users. And the field is not restricted to tech-savvy citizens of the U.S. and Europe. Chines social media giant Renren reported 178 million total users in its filing for an initial public offering, with 58 million logging on monthly. Russia's Odnoklassniki boasts more that 40 million, including almost 14% of the population of post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan. And while closed societies such as North Korea block public access to the Internet, social media sites have proven popular enough that the regime hosts several on its internal intranet.