Social media helped spread the news of the Norway attacks within minutes. Social media also helped spread a lot of mis-information in the same amount of time; illustrating the beauty and the dangers of gathering information in todays digital world.
I happened to be on line with Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter all open in the moments before the Oslo bombing took place. A post saying something to the effect that a bomb had just gone off in the building next door appeared in my stream. In the moments after that post appeared, I offered my friend an are you okay? and waited for professional news sources to catch up with me. Across social media, other people were doing the same. Within minutes, BBC News and others had articles published. From there, the floodgates of information opened.
While the events in Norway highlight the importance and prevalent role social content plays in spreading news and information, it also highlights the dangers. Within hours of the tragedy, bloggers and even some mainstream news sources were attributing the attacks to Islam when, in fact, the perpetrator was a Christian who felt that Christianity was being marginalised in Europe.
"Tragic day for Norway, shameful day for journalism," was how Brown University historian Shiva Balaghi characterised the coverage. "In this 24/7 news cycle, driven even more mad by terror experts who conduct research using Google and tweet a mile a minute, journalists should exercise caution. Copyright Purecontent Media Limited 24/05/2013.
Last updated: October 12, 2011 2:14 pm
The Oslo Bombing; Showing the Impact of Social Media on Content
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