For the first time, Internet-based social networking has been acknowledged as a force to be reckoned with in politics, as US-based Democratic presidential candidates took part in a campaign debate on YouTube.
The two-hour debate featured Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards, together with five other candidates – and a selection of the 3 000 YouTube videos submitted.
The debate was screened on CNN, and will be followed by a similar session with Republican candidates in September.
The video medium allowed ordinary people to pose their questions in visual and often poignant ways.
For example, one question was filmed at a Darfur refugee camp and showed a group of homeless children traumatised by the situation.
Another featured two women asking about gay marriages, and another a woman whipping off a wig to show a bald head and asking about healthcare for breast cancer sufferers.