|J. Paul Vance (AP Photo)|
The amount of misinformation wafting from online to offline to general acceptance was so rampant, an exasperated Lieutenant J. Paul Vance of the CT State Police, in his weekend presser, threatened those posting on "social sites" with legal prosecution or arrest. I found that curious as did Matt Williams writing for The Guardian from New York:
"Vance noted that in some cases, people had set up social media accounts purporting to belong to the gunman or other people connected to the case. 'It has been threatening, it has been inaccurate, it has been people posing as other people,' Vance said. Perpetrators 'could be subject to arrest, he added. Twitter has suspended a number fake accounts that were set up in the aftermath of Friday's shooting: @Pray_Newtown has also been suspended, after Twitter users complained that it was posting pictures of victims of other gun massacres."
|Morgan Freeman (Stephen Lovekin/FilmMagic)|
"An alleged statement attributed to actor Morgan Freeman in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting that left 20 children and 6 adults dead has been deemed a hoax. The comments -- which went viral this weekend on sites such as Facebook and Twitter -- condemned the 'sensationalist media' for coverage of mass killings, blaming news outlets for making "disturbed people" want to kill themselves in a 'memorable way.'"It's one thing for a bot to serve up some tasteless search-driven ad, as was the case with Amazon:
Really Amazon!? Really!?! I think your bidding logic is a little flawed and a little creepy. twitter.com/justinschoen/s…
— Justin Schoen (@justinschoen) December 14, 2012
Thanks Google for sending out this daily deal for handgun shooting today #insensitive twitter.com/LianaBaker/sta…But, it's entirely a different story for poseurs to create real-sounding identities in social and MSM channels for the purposes of spreading false and malicious information. (Gee, sounds like Karl Rove and the GOP during this last election.) Be that as it may, the First Amendment does grant the freedom to express one's opinion, however heinous that opinion may be.
— Liana B. Baker (@LianaBaker) December 15, 2012
|GigaOm's Mathew Ingram|
"Is social media responsible for these mistakes? Hardly. Most of them were reported by CNN and other traditional news sources as well, and in many cases Twitter users simply repeated them. Should they have verified the information before repeating it, as so many Twitter critics advise users to do? It’s hard to see how they could have done so, even if they wanted to. And to ask people to stop using Twitter or other social media during such an event seems naive at best — for better or worse, social networks are a crucial part of how we communicate now, and how we share both information and our emotional reaction to events like the Newtown shooting."
|NPR's Andy Carvin|
"One way to do this is for journalists both pro and amateur to shift their skillset from simply reporting facts to assembling and/or fact-checking them, using the crowd for assistance as Carvin has, and focusing on the kind of approach taken by the BBC’s “user-generated content” desk and other innovative approaches to the process. In the end, we could wind up with not just a new way of building the news, but a dramatically better one."Also, let's not discount the importance of creating awareness and a healthy skepticism about the veracity of the information that crosses one's social streams. In other words, don't believe everything you read. Consider the source!