Social Networking Sites Help Spread a Rumor

5 years 4 months 2 weeks ago March 12, 2011 Mar 12, 2011 Saturday, March 12 2011 Saturday, March 12, 2011 11:12:00 AM CST in Your View
By: Sarah Hill and Robert Kessler

Rumors have always been the poison of journalism. And Twitter can inject that poison directly into a community's fear.

We saw that play out this week as people on Twitter and Facebook started passing along along unconfirmed information via social media that spread like wildfire.

If you followed KOMU's online coverage of the University Hospital lockdown this week, you would have learned that the lockdown was a precautionary measure in response to a violent person who might try to gain access to the hospital.

But if you got your information from non-newsroom sources on Twitter and Facebook, you would have thought there was a gunman shooting on the MU campus.

"First thing I heard was a friend of mine updated his Facebook status -- said something about 'Are the dorms on lockdown?' and I guess they were trying to figure out exactly what was going on. They had heard about it from a friend of theirs and then after that I went and checked the MU Alert website and that it was just the hospital," says MU Student Aaron Wagner.

So when it comes to consuming social media, how do you know the information you receive is correct?

Your best bet is to follow news outlets, like KOMU, that are trained to pass along confirmed information from credible sources.

"The Radio Television Digital News Association has guidelines for social media use by the media, and they're very specific about how we use Tweets and Facebook posts and other things to make sure that we verify those. And it's almost like a police scanner traffic, we wouldn't report what we hear on the scanner but we would use it as a point to start our reporting," says Stacey Woelfel, KOMU 8 News Director.

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department responded to a shooting Friday night in the area of Pennant Street and Worley... More >>
1 hour ago July 30, 2016 Jul 30, 2016 Saturday, July 30 2016 Saturday, July 30, 2016 8:33:00 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A crowd of about 50 people converged on a Kansas City convenience store, with some... More >>
14 hours ago July 29, 2016 Jul 29, 2016 Friday, July 29 2016 Friday, July 29, 2016 7:43:42 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The former owner of two Missouri daycare businesses has been sentenced to two years in... More >>
14 hours ago July 29, 2016 Jul 29, 2016 Friday, July 29 2016 Friday, July 29, 2016 7:34:44 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The mother of a 24-year-old man fatally shot by Kansas City police in 2013 has... More >>
14 hours ago July 29, 2016 Jul 29, 2016 Friday, July 29 2016 Friday, July 29, 2016 7:27:23 PM CDT in News
CARTHAGE (AP) — Authorities are increasing security at a festival that draws tens of thousands of Vietnamese Catholics to southwest... More >>
14 hours ago July 29, 2016 Jul 29, 2016 Friday, July 29 2016 Friday, July 29, 2016 7:22:03 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder said his experience in office and past success in elections... More >>
14 hours ago July 29, 2016 Jul 29, 2016 Friday, July 29 2016 Friday, July 29, 2016 7:16:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Getting to the polls can be difficult on Election Day, but COMO Connect will help Columbia residents. The... More >>
14 hours ago July 29, 2016 Jul 29, 2016 Friday, July 29 2016 Friday, July 29, 2016 7:05:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - SERVE, Inc handed out free school supplies to Callaway County students on Saturday. The first 800 people... More >>
18 hours ago July 29, 2016 Jul 29, 2016 Friday, July 29 2016 Friday, July 29, 2016 3:32:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - University of Missouri Interim Chancellor Hank Foley announced Friday he will take over for Interim Athletic Director Wren... More >>
19 hours ago July 29, 2016 Jul 29, 2016 Friday, July 29 2016 Friday, July 29, 2016 2:56:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Cyclists were out on Friday enjoying new bike lanes along the shoulder of Forum Boulevard. The new lanes... More >>
19 hours ago July 29, 2016 Jul 29, 2016 Friday, July 29 2016 Friday, July 29, 2016 2:14:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Department of Transportation announced Friday that due to unforeseen complications, the Missouri River Bridge project will... More >>
20 hours ago July 29, 2016 Jul 29, 2016 Friday, July 29 2016 Friday, July 29, 2016 1:26:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas man has been charged with killing a woman in a Missouri apartment where officers... More >>
1 day ago July 29, 2016 Jul 29, 2016 Friday, July 29 2016 Friday, July 29, 2016 8:28:00 AM CDT in News
WINONA (AP) — A southern Missouri man has been convicted of killing his wife by giving her Kool-Aid laced with... More >>
1 day ago July 29, 2016 Jul 29, 2016 Friday, July 29 2016 Friday, July 29, 2016 7:58:00 AM CDT in News
OAKVILLE (AP) — St. Louis County police are investigating after more than two dozen break-ins were reported on a single... More >>
1 day ago July 29, 2016 Jul 29, 2016 Friday, July 29 2016 Friday, July 29, 2016 7:37:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis home is damaged after suspects fleeing police crashed into it. KTVI-TV reports... More >>
1 day ago July 29, 2016 Jul 29, 2016 Friday, July 29 2016 Friday, July 29, 2016 7:32:00 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police have found a man dead and another victim critically wounded nearby. ... More >>
1 day ago July 29, 2016 Jul 29, 2016 Friday, July 29 2016 Friday, July 29, 2016 6:22:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Opponents and supporters of Proposition 1 met at Columbia's Activity and Recreation Center (ARC) Thursday night to voice... More >>
1 day ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 9:29:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Police arrested one man and are searching for another man in connection with a shooting that killed a... More >>
1 day ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 8:29:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 73°
10am 76°
11am 78°
12pm 78°
1pm 79°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

9:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
10:00a
2016 RICOH Women's British Open
1:00p
Global Rallycross
9:30a
Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan: Family Edition
10:00a
Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan: Family Edition
10:30a
Save Our Shelter

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
America's Got Talent
8:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld