|Social media and VA Tech
I've been hesitant to post anything in relation to the VA Tech shootings, as it is just so awful. But the New York Times published something that has been on my mind ever since the incident last week:
The internet, and social media in particular, was the most important place for people from around the world to find information, opinion and conversation about the event.
Popular social networks Facebook
served a primary way for VA Tech students to communicate with the the outside world. When mobile service was down due to being overwhelmed by traffic, these networks were sometimes the only way. Message boards and forums from VA Tech as well as from rival neighboring schools like UVA were also key communication platforms.
Then, there is Wikipedia
As was the case in the aftermath of the Southeast Asian tsunami in 2004
and the London bombings in 2005
, Wikipedia was - and continues to be - *the* place to find comprehensive news and information about the event.
Here are a few quotes from the full NYT article
From the contributions of 2,074 editors, at last count, the site created a polished, detailed article on the massacre, with more than 140 separate footnotes, as well as sidebars that profiled the shooter, Seung-Hui Cho, and gave a timeline of the attacks.
According to the foundation that runs the various Wikipedias around the world, there were more than 750,000 visits to the main article on the shootings in its first two days, an average of four visits a second. Even The Roanoke Times, which is published near Blacksburg, Va., where the university is located, noted on Thursday that Wikipedia “has emerged as the clearinghouse for detailed information on the event.”
“Professional news is the place to get the facts on the ground — after all, that’s where Wikipedia contributors are getting their information, too,” said Michael Snow, a Wikipedia administrator. “Wikipedia distinguishes itself by the ability to bring all the facts, and useful background information, together in one place.”
BTW, Wikipedia also has a nice section on gun control
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Monday, April 23, 2007