What ABCnews.com got really wrong about social media and Mumbai attacks

On Nov. 28, ABCnews.com published a story by Ki Mae Huessner called Social Media a Lifeline, Also a Threat? about the role of Twitter and other social media in the coverage of, and public discourse about, last week’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

Huessner interviewed me for this story because I’ve been blogging about it on Contentious.com and on E-Media Tidbits. She chose to include a few highly edited and interpreted quotes from me that I think grossly misrepresent my own views and the character of our conversation.

Yeah, being a journalist, I know that no one is ever completely happy with their quotes. I’ve been misquoted plenty in the past, and normally I just roll with it. But this particular case is an especially teachable moment for my journalist colleagues in mainstream media about understanding and covering the role of social media in today’s media landscape.

Today’s a pretty busy day for me, but I didn’t want to let this go unsaid any longer. So I made a little Seesmic video response to this story. Here I am speaking strictly for myself — not on behalf of any of my clients or colleagues. Yes, I am very emphatic here and somewhat critical. Please understand that my frustration is borne of seeing this particular problem over and over again.

5 thoughts on What ABCnews.com got really wrong about social media and Mumbai attacks

  1. I’m not sure of the value of that particular post since it doesn’t really show the twitter origins of the rumor. It appears to be just a snapshot of repetitions of the rumor well after it started. Can you clarify?

    – Amy Gahran

  2. To clarify, those times are EST, not mumbai. We’ve tagged >100,000 mumbai related msgs so I may have missed a few.

    If it was a rumor, then the beginning is very near to the screenshot timeframe. IOW, the rumor may have begun as speculation and someone decided to ‘broadcast’ it as fact.

    Or, the Gov request is true, but still began in a low level convo, and same person decided to broadcast it.

    The beginning of an Event is rarely apparent. We of course have an opinion, but we value displaying the data and watching the discussion.


  3. Pingback:   Skype: Why you should at least learn to use it — contentious.com

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