I am blogging, I am on Twitter, I have a Facebook-Account and many others. I am not always completely clear what the real business model and value of all the tools are but basically there is a lot of fun in it. Additionally information flows much faster and everybody has the possibility to express himself/herself the way he/she wants. However, there is a huge problem connected as well, which is misinformation and panic on the web.
It can easily be that a theme becomes an “own-runner” (at least that’s the way we call it in German if something kind of gets a life on its own) and a lot of misinformation is spread via uncontrolled channels and this can lead to irresponsible behavior.
I just read some articles about this when it comes to the Swine Flu. It does seem to be very serious (even though I am not a doctor) but we have to be very careful what we spread and how. It seems that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has its own Twitter account and they distribute information through this channel. Let’s just for a second put the question aside whether it is really the CDC… they have authoritative information about the flu.
If you search in Twitter for “swine flu” you find a lot of entries – can you trust them? I think that we need some normal vigilance if we deal with such information and be careful what we trust. These media have a huge potential to cause a panic because everybody trusts and copies from everybody.
There is actually good articles on the web on this: Swine flu: Twitter's power to misinform and One swine flu over the cuckoo's nest
Thanks Roger for excellent comments and sharing valuable article. Swine Flu is probably dangerous and in this case, media should act reasonably mature.