new Things I Ate in Cambodia: twitter and mumbai, round two

Thursday, November 27, 2008

twitter and mumbai, round two

Gorgeous photo from the Guardian.UK. The crows are a constant presence in Mumbai.

The most interesting aspect of these attacks has been the usage of social media. We saw a little bit of it during Gustav and Galveston, but these Mumbai attacks have taken matters to an entirely different level. The Indian government may be imploring people to stop Tweeting, but there's no way to stop the tide. Blogging has truly arrived: the way we used to blog is gonna seem slow. The internet is now more inclusive then ever before, according to this article: Web A-Twitter with Terror Attacks -

"Dina Mehta, who twittered and blogged about the attacks from her Mumbai home, said this sort of social media reportage had been used during the 2004 tsunami, and again during Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Gustav. But technology has advanced to include programmes such as Twitter that allow far more people, especially less tech-saavy people, to participate: “You have a space where anyone can actually contribute to it,” she says."

But we do need to recognize the danger of disseminating rumors:

"The freedom of the Web, though, can also lead to rapid-fire rumours. At one point, Twitter users thought the terrorists were finding out about army movements from the website, and Mishra said he had to delete a series of Hindu fundamental propaganda posts from his site. However, he says the propaganda and misinformation is a small percentage of the postings and other users are quick to point out the mistakes.
Mehta agrees, “It’s a self-regulating kind of space.”

I agree. A lot of critics of new media claim that "anyone can post anything", rendering all info on the internet as unvetted and thereby useless. Bullshit. The beauty of the internet is that the collective knowledge of pretty much everyone is entering the picture. The way I (and I imagine many other people) use the internet is as a clearing house: we read everything and triangulate the truth. I'm just overjoyed we have the oppurtunity to do that rather then relying on some over-Botoxed newscaster to tell us the truth.

Not to mention, as others have pointed out, we can now follow this story in super detailed depth, rather then relying on CNN and American media outlets to tell it to us. Newsflash: they don't give a rats ass. They are much more concerned with the Macy's day parade and giving out turkeys to the poor. We care and now we can find out for ourselves.

1 comment:

Sha-sha said...

Whitney has started up a staff blog at the Courier-Post called MoJo DoJo. The content is centered around journalism tools, primarily tools of the online-multimedia variety. She recently wrote about why she believes journalist should use facebook and other social networking sites. It's very similar to what you've shared, and I thought you might find it worth checking out.