All week, my thoughts have been heavy on Boston. My wife and I loved our time living in the Hub, both of our children were born there, we have many friends we’re still close with, and we even maintain our 617 area code cell numbers.
That said, tragedies like Monday’s marathon highlight the best and worst in social media. On the upside, we often get the stories faster from bottom-up social media like Twitter or Facebook. On the downside, speed is one thing but accuracy is another; often much of the information is accidently or deliberately false.
In an excellent post from Doug Gross highlighting five un-true viral stories from the Boston tragedy, Doug used one of my favorite expressions when describing social media calling it a “digital echo chamber.” With our social tools, it is too easy to share and many times, information gets shared that is not true. I mean, how many times does someone die on Twitter these days?
In a bottom-up media world, the onus is on the individual users of social media to decide if a story is in fact true or not and that is not easy to do in chaotic scenarios like what happened on Monday.
Something to think about out today…
Associate Professor of Marketing
Stillman School of Business
Seton Hall University