Former prime minister Tony Blair has issued a warning over the role of social media platforms in political upheaval.
Speaking at the 2012 RSA security conference, Blair said that while social media platforms have helped to drive revolution in the Middle East and other parts of the world, citizens should be weary of getting carried away and creating power vacuums in vulnerable regions.
"The role of social media has been fundamental, social media is a revolutionary phenomenon in itself," Blair said.
"Unfortunately, it is not an instrument of government, it does not tell you how to make the difficult decisions that government is about."
The former prime minister suggested that even as revolution is spreading with the aid of social media, both citizens and outside governments need to engage in talks and campaigns to establish stable, democratic governments and economies, to avoid the rise of extremist governments.
Blair noted that as the economy evolves, Western nations will need to adjust their policies amid the growing power of China, India and other emerging nations.
However, Blair also believes that those rapidly expanding economies will need to make radical adjustments of their own.
"I have to say whether those two succeed will depend far more on them opening up and becoming more like Western economies," he said.
"We should be looking at how we revise our essential system, not abandoning it."
Despite presiding over the UK during the rise of the internet and the digital economy, Blair admitted that he did not own a mobile phone while in office.
When sending his first SMS message the day after leaving office, he forgot to include his name in the message to a friend.
"I got a reply of 'I'm sorry, who are you?" Blair recounted, "And I thought to myself, 'it has only been 24 hours'."
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