Law in the Internet Society

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MelissaGotliebSecondPaper 3 - 21 Dec 2011 - Main.MelissaGotlieb
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META TOPICPARENT name="WebPreferences"

The use of social networking information in emergency situations and the issue of false or groundless rumor dissemination

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 The conclusion with the CRS is interesting example of how the pros and cons will play out in real life. Are the CRS policymakers considering the same pros and cons that you described here? Should this be left in hands of the legislature/regulators to decide whether to trust social media, or should voters have a bigger say?

-- ThomasHou - 21 Dec 2011



Thank you for your comment.

I would tend to agree with the fact that the printing press also carries social networking tools. However, as you mentioned, I believe that the difference resides in the fact that, unlike the printing press which targets a local/national audience, social networking sites such as Twitter are openly accessible to a global Community instantaneously. What's more, what truly sets social media apart from the printing press is that it allows for two-way communications rather than the information being transmitted to the public on a one-way basis. As a result, when false rumors are initiated in the framework of emergency situations, the already inaccurate information is highly likely to be emphasized and overly exaggerated until confirmed otherwise by a verified source or through contradicting information repeatedly disseminated by the micro-blogging users.

The report issued by the CRS on September 6, 2011, summarizes the benefits and potential costs/policy considerations of using social media during disasters, as witnessed so far. The report does indeed tackle, among other things, the pros and cons that I mentioned in my essay. It suggests that FEMA might move to adopt social media as a systematic tool in dealing with emergency situations in the future, but notes that further research is still required in order to assess in a more informed way how this medium of communication could practically be applied in the most efficient way possible.

-- MelissaGotlieb - 21 Dec 2011

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Revision 3r3 - 21 Dec 2011 - 23:35:34 - MelissaGotlieb
Revision 2r2 - 21 Dec 2011 - 19:04:54 - ThomasHou
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