Here is an article that deals with responses to Osama Bin Laden’s death and how the social media world blew up after the fact. We talked in class about how social media makes us so dynamically inter connected in a way unimaginable a couple years ago. In this article the author describes how after Osama was pronounced dead there were two quotes put up, one by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mark Twain that in fact were wrong. However in no time people we re-posting these quotes in both their facebook and Twitter accounts and the mis-quotes became a viral sensation. The MLK was a mashup between one person’s own words with the first sentence combined with a true MLK quote starting with the second sentence. The Mark Twain quote was altered slightly. Both can be seen in link to the article.
This connects with a couple of things we discussed in class. I believe social media still is not a place to get credible news and we must still look to our major networks and trusted anchors to deliver us the correct details of what has happened, who said what, and where something took place. Social media, still in its infancy stage, is an easy environment for someone to start a rumor that can quickly become “fact” over the internet, later to be discredited by those news outlets with the correct resources to report the stories. Secondly, this mis-quote was tweeted by a regular person who linked the quote to her facebook page. Her friends then saw the quote and retweeted and re-posted and soon Penn Gillette from “Penn & Teller” retweeted it to his 1.6 million followers and the quote was everywhere. It’s amazing how connected we are now in the digital age. 1 in 6 people in the world are on one site where we can all reach one another.