Social Networking Sites Help Spread a Rumor

5 years 11 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
Embed Code Copied

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
JEFFERSON CITY - Up to 140 J.C. Penney stores across the country will close, the chain announced Friday. The... More >>
59 minutes ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 2:52:00 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — For the third time since 2009, a St. Louis family is dealing with the loss of... More >>
1 hour ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 2:51:00 PM CST in News
ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) — Federal investigators have ruled that the fire that destroyed a suburban St. Louis country club... More >>
1 hour ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 2:40:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri has approved more than $54,000 for remodeling the Capitol office of new Lt. Gov. Mike... More >>
2 hours ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 1:17:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Gov. Eric Greitens has appointed two former Missouri senators and the new Department of Revenue director... More >>
4 hours ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 11:46:08 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A streetcar that will operate in the Loop area of St. Louis and adjoining University City... More >>
8 hours ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 7:49:51 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - When someone overdoses on heroin or another opioid, the drug slows down their central nervous system until they... More >>
9 hours ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 6:02:00 AM CST in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - A Moberly woman was charged Tuesday in Boone County for abusing a 12-year-old Columbia boy. Stacey Robertson,... More >>
17 hours ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 10:23:00 PM CST in News
MONITEAU COUNTY – The Moniteau County Sheriff's Office arrested 10 people during a drug bust Wednesday. The sheriff's office... More >>
19 hours ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 8:19:00 PM CST in News
WENTZVILLE (AP) — Police in the east ern Missouri to wn of Wentzville are investigating after a woman working inside... More >>
20 hours ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 7:23:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – Plato’s Closet opened a newly renovated store Thursday to give mid-Missouri teens and young adults in poverty affordable,... More >>
20 hours ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 6:53:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Gov. Eric Greitens plans to put $11 million back into school transportation and $41 million back into home... More >>
21 hours ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 6:44:00 PM CST in News
NEW FRANKLIN - President Donald Trump reversed President Barack Obama's directive on transgender students being able to use the bathroom... More >>
21 hours ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 6:36:00 PM CST in News
FULTON - Drive down memory lane to Fulton's Auto World Museum and transport yourself through the decades. Bill Backer,... More >>
23 hours ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 4:07:47 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri House members have passed a bill to reduce the duration of state jobless benefits to... More >>
23 hours ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 3:51:43 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia man accused of plotting a terror attack with people he believed were members of ISIS was... More >>
1 day ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 3:47:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A new ordinance in St. Louis prohibits discrimination based on "reproductive health decisions." It's an effort... More >>
1 day ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 2:47:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The investigatory subcommittee created to examine harassment and hostile working conditions in Missouri’s prisons heard from two... More >>
1 day ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 2:45:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 47°
4pm 45°
5pm 44°
6pm 42°
7pm 40°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

3:00p
Dr. Phil
4:00p
Jeopardy!
4:30p
Jeopardy!
3:00p
The Robert Irvine Show
4:00p
Cops Reloaded
4:30p
The Cleveland Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Grimm
8:00p
Emerald City
9:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
The Vampire Diaries
8:00p
Reign
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld