Social networking media can be an effective way to organize mass protests. This was first demonstrated in the U.S. during the 1999 World Trade Organization Protests in Seattle. Social networking technologies have facilitated mass protests in repressive regimes across the globe, including those in Iran last summer.
This event in New Jersey may be the first instance in which students used Facebook to organize a mass walkout. More than 18,000 students responded to a Facebook post calling for a demonstration to protest proposed state budget cuts for education. Social networking does not always replace traditional public contention -- sometimes, as in this instance, it assists in organizing and publicizing it.