The democratization of social media creates a larger base for interaction and participation than ever before. This can be taken as a positive, as well as negative, notion. The freedoms given to us can help us deliver information, not just across the nation, but across the entire world. However, the information sent cannot always be correct.
Democratization of social media helps experts in the reporting of major news. When Super-storm Sandy hit NYC, the news casters used the first hand photos and reports of those affected by it. This created an instant feed back to those who’s families were in the city. This instant publication comes as a much quicker form of media than that of news anchors. That is to say that the news broadcasters must obtain the information then wait to get the okay to publish the same, and in some cases “late”, details. These instant feeds from Sandy had been primarily seen through the social media giant, Twitter. Twitter gives people a way of spreading a message and collaborating on a massive scale. “Twestival” was the name of an online charity site that had raised just over a quarter of a million dollars by the collaborative efforts of the community that is Twitter (Rheingold, 2009). Thus, spreading the word to people about the clean water crisis around the world. Twitter is among other social media giants such as Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and many more. Personally, the information I receive in everyday life comes primarily from social media sites. I play rugby, the only way the entire team can collaborate with one another on a mass level is to post on Facebook. Also, if we want to learn different techniques for the drills we learned we are able to share videos to these sites as well. Through social media posts, such as videos on youtube, we have learned how to create the website we have been wanting to create in my Information Literacy. Stemming from this, our professor posts information we need on the website Blackboard Learning. This is a tool used often to access information on how to create websites or how to write this blog.
Although there are many pros to the world of social media and the news, there can be cons as well. These drawbacks include “false truths”. There is little regulation as to what is put on the internet; thus, anyone can post anything they want on it. Many of these posts talk about the same topic but have to different ideas about the topic at hand. In “Scientific Meta-Literacy” by John Nielsen-Gammon, John rants about how people post false statements such as “The summer is so hot because during the summer, the earth is closer to the sun.” His view of the incompetence of people in posting information without real scientific backing is through the roof. Media websites such as wiki links are filled with false knowledge. This is because anyone can log in and edit the text. There is no regulation on the content of the posts being posted online. I have done research on many topics through out my schooling and have had to do extensive research because there are many websites that give false hopes on the topics at hand. You cannot believe everything you read online.