The freedom and sense of community that comes with social networking is a wonderful thing, perhaps the most wonderful thing of the online age. But it comes with responsibility. If you intend to write about current affairs, publishing your unmoderated comments to however many pairs of eyes around the world, you must have an understanding of what you can and cannot say. It is no longer good enough to simply say "I didn't realise."
We should lower the voting age, and introduce compulsory voting- with a 'none of the above' option - in local and national elections. Russell Brand's performance with Jeremy Paxman was electrifying TV, but dangerous. People should get involved. They should vote. And they should get into politics in whatever way can make a difference.
At the end of 2013 I will be stepping away from blogging until June 2016, by which time I'm sure blogging will be obsolete. It feels excellent to discard a cultural practice which sounds and has begun to feel like a combination of bragging, slogging, slobbing, blabbing, blubbing, gobbing, gagging, dragging and blagging.
I think the pace of change has been greater during our lifetime than in any other period in history, and nowhere more so than in the media; papers, radio and TV active 24 hours a day, deadlines and regional borders effectively gone, news and comment largely fused, trends accelerated by social media which did not exist when I left Downing Street, let alone when I started. Mark Zuckerberg, 29, was not even born when I set out on the Daily Mirror.
The medley of today's media is unprecedented. While Britain's biggest publishers find themselves in similarly unparalleled levels of turmoil - shrinking revenue, the threat of state regulation, and a growing tendency to aim their guns at each other - the range of outlets beneath them is fragmenting like light through a prism.
When De Piero says "no one should have to worry that something they did when they were young might prevent them from serving their community or getting involved in politics", the vast majority would agree with her. Those who are trying to boost circulations on the back of other people's misery or humiliation - as some of our newspapers have done for years - will find little solace in their "public interest" arguments.
Throughout modern history the press, in the UK and US, has generally been willing to support governments at war. In World War I the press wilfully aided the war effort. By 1918 Lord Beaverbrook, the owner of Express newspapers, was minister of information. Lord Northcliffe, owner of the Times and Daily Mail was in charge of all propaganda directed at enemy countries...
The pigs were crammed in; moving, squealing, eating, shitting - these animals didn't have the luxury of outdoor exercise or daylight. This barn (more like a warehouse in fact) was home for now. Locals told us the farm contained 13,000 pigs, and was an intensive piglet "nursery", where young animals were brought from breeding establishments elsewhere to fatten up before being dispatched to the slaughterhouse and people's dinner plates.
Conversely, whether in print or online, critics with experience, expertise and a sense of responsibility should be championed. Those guiding voices make an essential contribution, with respected critical approbation translating into financial backing for many institutions and projects, and new voices handed a megaphone.