Hurricane Sandy sheds light on authentic social media content
It’s always amazing to see how social media has transformed the flow of information. People no longer have to wait until 5 o’clock to receive the day’s news, but instead, they have immediate access to of-the-moment news and events through platforms like Facebook and Twitter. However, with the constant influx of information, users must discern what is accurate news – and what is not.
This is especially evident today as Hurricane Sandy sweeps the east coast. For those unable to watch the news, they can find minute-by-minute, even second-by-second updates about the storm on social media. Searching #Sandy on Twitter gives a plethora of updates, thoughts and prayers, and images of areas affected by the storm (you can even see how renowned luxury retailer Saks Fifth Avenue has prepared for the fierce weather).
However, one of the most notable images of the storm was a hoax – and it brings to light (especially to me, as I fell for it) how honest and authentic content must be at the forefront for social media to work at its best. A stunning image of the Statue of Liberty with awe-inspiring storm clouds above noting that it was from today’s events took the social media world by storm (pun not intended).
As trivial as it sounds, it is a starting point for a great conversation about truth in social media. In order for accurate reporting of news and events, social media users must be honest about where images and updates come from, so as not to embarrass and mislead others. People searching #Sandy genuinely wanted to find out updates about the storm’s progress, and what they thought was an actual picture from the storm, was not. Instead, it was from a movie.
In order to be a respected and relevant curator and sharer of content online, be authentic in what you share. What are your thoughts on this subject?