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Wired Wild West

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LONG before Facebook or Twitter, there was a different kind of social network. Born in the Old West, it allowed communities to share updates and music, and to spread news and gossip. For a brief period at the start of the 20th century this network, owned by no one, was a model of democracy, openness and free speech – something that today's internet activists can only dream about. Eventually, though, it faded, overwhelmed by commercially minded competitors. This is the story of a long-forgotten social revolution and the extremely unlikely technology it was built on: barbed wire

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To continue reading this article, subscribe to receive access to all of newscientist.com, including 20 years of archive content.

Hmph.

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Hmph.

Sorry,as I have a subscription I can never tell which articles are closed to public view.

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Here's a similar article on Barbed wire telephones.

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