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Israeli president Shimon Peres talks to Facebook about social media

Whether social media is a time-wasting diversion, marketing vehicle or expression of citizen journalism is a debate that has entertained academics, policy makers and everyday mums and dads for some time.

However, in the US it seems that the argument is all but over with social media claiming a triumphant victory after receiving the endorsement of yet another political leader.

Visiting Facebook HQ in California on Tuesday (March 6), Shimon Peres met with the company's chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg and later participated in an interview that was streamed live on the site with chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg.

The Israeli president told Sandberg that social media plays an important role in national decision making processes and is vital to peace efforts around the world.

"The matter of peace is no longer the business of governments but the business of people," he commented. "Today the people are governing the governments. And when they begin to talk to each other, they are surprised: We should be friends."

On the topic of Iran, Peres was slightly less diplomatic describing the country's leadership as morally corrupt.

"They want to have nuclear weapons. The combination of viciousness and nuclear weapons is a real catastrophe, a real danger," he said.

It is not clear whether president Barack Obama endorses the comments on Iran presented by Peres, but as both are keen social media users it is highly likely they share similar views on the networking platform.

Among some of the more outspoken advocates of the positive impact social networks can have on society and democracy is Twitter.

The site has for a long time described its own media platform as a tool people can use to help spread peace and political engagement.

And after the recent push to engage users in serious political issues such as the anti-PIPA movement by Facebook and Google, it would seem that the social ecosystem is keen to push the political agenda when it needs to.

Posted by Aimee McBride