In effort to save Belfast dog, supporters light up Facebook, Twitter

Lennox fans use social networks to raise global support for the dog

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Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group, said people are increasingly quick to turn to their favorite social networks whenever they're upset or excited about something.

"Social networks have now become deeply intertwined in the fabric of life," he added. "It's to the point where if someone has some issue or problem they want to vent about, they don't call their friends or neighbors, they immediately run to Facebook or Twitter."

In a similar vein, users took to social networks in March to vent anger at conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh after he verbally bashed a Georgetown University law student for supporting birth control.

In part because of social pressure, Limbaugh's show at the time lost more than 20 advertisers, including Allstate Insurance, AOL, Citrix, Quicken Loans and Sears.

The month before that, a chorus of outrage on Twitter and Facebook helped to push officials at the Susan G. Komen For the Cure to rescind their controversial decision to cut funding for Planned Parenthood programs.

"The immediacy and global reach of these social sites has indeed driven appreciable social change, be it raising the awareness of worthy causes or empowering the disenfranchised," said Shimmin. "Twitter and Facebook are simply mediums for a message -- the continuing realization of the simple desire to hear and to be heard."

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is

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Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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