The thing with social media is that you never know how fat something becomes popular, and before you know it, information has reached every corner of the world that it can at preset reach. If this peep has a flavor of suspense, horror or shock value, it may even be catapulted into the most popular tweet of the moment or will turn into everyone’s status update apart from the ever popular likes, and +1 support. Seeing this flurry of activity, friends, family and followers will most likely take suit, and who knows it could very well attain status of global news.
Social media has great potential, and just as it can help ensure that information reaches out, it can at times be immensely destructive, even to the point of no return. First and foremost there’s less accountability at the onset, so if someone cooked up an interesting story it could simply become a trend for the moment and before you know it everyone’s retweeting, and doing their bit to spread the word. By the time accountability comes into picture, the damage may very well have been done.
The main concern today is that many individuals choose to don the role of being an important source of passing on information, or at least strive to be the first amongst their online circle to highlight a certain matter, and have others follow suit. Yet others do it because they enjoy letting others know what they feel about a certain matter. People who’re active on their twitter accounts survive on the sheer number of followers they attract, and that’s only possible if you keep the tweets interesting or simply tweet about the most interesting story of the moment. Recently when the US team gunned down Osama Bin Laden, a Twitter account holder did get out a partial word talking about gun fire in Abbottabad which isn’t quite the norm. Of course, no one really caught on immediately
Then there are others who are usually looking out for a scoop and think they’ve found one when they see it, and immediately spread the word forward. Since blogging has become almost a norm with people are writing about many things. The detrimental fact is that a lot of it is simple ranting or news reported without a source, or sometimes a falsified source who doesn’t wish to be named. It gets even more complicated when others pick up the scent to an interesting piece, and opt to rewrite it. This rewriting and rephrasing has many a time changed the story itself. It get’s further complicated because all of these stories too are being shared and tweeted, and before long this misrepresentation is the biggest story of the moment.
Is your online world a promise of authenticity
There are many examples of such unethical reporting that’s popularized through online social media channels but it doesn’t always blow out of proportion but when it does, who’s to be held accountable. So, if your heart cringed in fear and you were visibly shocked after hearing about the mass grave concealing dozens of dismembered corpses, you need to know more, and this time around it matters not whether you saw the news update on television or read about it online.