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Social Media in the Wake of Disaster

Page history last edited by Jose Jaime Bisuña 4 years, 8 months ago

Social Media in the Wake of Disaster


Author: Nikki Williams

Date: October 12, 2017

Link: https://www.digitalethics.org/essays/social-media-wake-disaster


First Impressions: The essay probably talks about what to do and what not to do with social media in the wake of disaster.


Quote: “Regardless of procedures, policies and protocol established by governments or by news agencies themselves, private citizens should make it a habit to fact check all information, particularly in the event of a disaster or incendiary event before taking action and before passing on the information to others.”



In the event of disasters, what is the first thing we look at for verification that it is really happening? That’s right, social media, specifically Twitter or Facebook, but more on Twitter since Facebook is well known for spreading fake news and information that may be misleading. Twitter is considered to be one of the go-to social reporting tool for sharing information in the midst of breaking news, since Twitter made it easy for us to be updated. Features such as hashtags, live updates near your area, and top used hashtag are what makes Twitter the go-to social reporting tool. When disasters happen, people usually inform others through social media, but there are times when the information being spread around is exaggerated, which then causes people to overreact to the updates they receive in social media and cause them to panic. In cases of disasters, we should keep a calm mind and stay focused on surviving. That is why in the event of disasters, we should know the trust-worthy sources for us to be informed on which areas we should avoid or better to turn off all social media notifications and keep one’s mind in survival mode because there are times wherein social media could be really distracting. When we see a two-minute video of something that seems to be interesting, we waste time looking at the video waiting for the exciting thing to happen. This action will cause higher chances of death in the case of disasters; we should have laser sharp focus during emergencies. 


5 Things I Learned

  1. Before believing something that is seen on social media, we must first fact check the article/news before sharing it with others

  2. There are applications that help fact check a certain news seen online.

  3. Twitter is considered one of the go-to social reporting tool for sharing information in the midst of breaking news.

  4. It is better to turn off social media during disasters to avoid misleading information.

  5. People tend to exaggerate on social media posts.

5 Integrative Questions

  1. What other social reporting tools are there aside from Twitter?

  2. Should we resort to social media in the wake of disasters?

  3. Why do people exaggerate when sharing live updates of the current condition of their area on social media?

  4. How should one think during a wake of disaster?

  5. What are different ways that we can fact check the information we see on social media?


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