#TTBS:Social Media During a Crisis

During a time of crisis, when others run away from danger, there are people that have to run to the danger. When the order has been given to evacuate the area, there are people that stay in the area or as close as they can. In the interest of public safety, these people are gathering information and putting it out rapidly. Sometimes they make mistakes. When there is an active threat, they don’t need people micro-analyzing tweets or posting stupid comments on their feeds. I’m not defending law enforcement today. I can’t believe I’m actually defending the news media.   After today’s terror attack in Colorado Springs, I’ve had enough.

As you may or may not know, an individual shot and wounded several civilians and law enforcement officers. News reporters converged on the area and tweeted updates and photographs until the subject was confirmed in custody. This information is for people in the area and for anyone that may be a victim of this crisis to know that the authorities are aware of what’s going on and help is on the way. I became really perturbed when people posted comments questioning the reports accuracy or made other stupid comments.

First of all, to-may-to, to-mah-to… it’s all the same! People cluttered up the comment area with the debate on whether or not the suspect is simply a shooter or a terrorist. He was shooting and, I just learned, killed people. A victim could be reaching out with vital information on twitter and it’s sucked up in this stupid debate. Secondly, somebody wanted to berate a reporter on their accuracy because they stated “at” in their tweet but a report from the news station said “near”. As the illustrious tweeter stated, “There’s a big difference.” If I fired a shot at you or near you, which would make you crap your pants? The people at Planned Parenthood as well as anyone within a few miles were in high stress mode. That tiny word didn’t matter to them. Lastly, someone wanted to know if the information was confirmed or just scanner chatter. What difference does it make? The information updates were letting you know that the situation is still active and stay the hell away. And then there was the idiot that took up space to criticize the tweet reporting several people have been wounded.  Who doesn’t know that you like a tweet to acknowledge it.  It doesn’t mean that you’re happy it has happened.  When someone posts that a family member died, you don’t like it because you’re happy the person died.  It shows support.  Really dude?

There are news reports that are planned, written out, and have to be approved by someone. Those reports should be as accurate as reasonably possible. Breaking news reports are on the fly. Reporters are gathering information and if there is anything that they feel is vital to public safety, they will put it out. If they learn that they have disseminated erroneous information, the reporter corrects himself or herself.

I understand the constitutional right to free speech. Maybe out forefathers should have specified “intelligent” free speech. When there is crisis such as todays, extemporaneous comments should be kept to yourself. This goes to the old saying, “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.” When people are lying in the snow dying or suffering excruciating pain thinking they are going to die, that is not the time to be a smart aleck. That’s when you should show support, offer prayers, or just keep quiet.

Whatever happened to common sense and decency? The Internet is a magnificent development in out society; however, people hide behind their avatar and show their true colors. Three lives were lost today. Whether you call him/her a terrorist or a shooter, three families’ lives are forever changed. Three people won’t come home to Thanksgiving leftovers. Three people won’t be home for Christmas. That can’t get anymore accurate.