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SHAPIRO: Fine, thanks. So how much do these forces - Facebook, Twitter, WikiLeaks - influence America's global agenda?
Mr. LEWIS: I think they've become an essential tool, and it's a tool that we're not always sure what the best way to use it will be. The U.S. can't direct it but it can benefit from it.
Mr. LEWIS: You know, I think the State Department is more like a cheerleader. They think Facebook or Twitter is wonderful and sometimes they'll encourage them to do things. But the tools themselves are actually kind of neutral and so a lot depends on what the people in the country want to do. It's a way to amplify any opposition, it's a way to reinforce it, but it doesn't create
SHAPIRO: You know, this feels like a very new world that we're talking about, but on the other hand I think of something like the East India Company and I wonder whether this is not a tale as old as time, that an organization that is not a country has tremendous influence on the global stage.
Mr. LEWIS: I don't think Twitter or Facebook or Google or any of these, I don't think they have a political agenda...And that means it's sort of a dance for the State Department - you want to work with the companies to get them to enable the things we like, but at the same time we haven't been bashful about going and saying maybe you should take that guy off Facebook, maybe you should take that guy off YouTube. Can't always do it, but it's definitely a balancing act between the things we like to encourage and the things that could cause us harm.