The recent crisis in Japan got me thinking…

The recent crisis in Japan got me thinking about how live updates and hashtags told a multitude of different stories that wouldn’t have been possible 5 years ago (Twitter is 5 today!) Twitter is a powerful tool. Live updates can advance a story in interesting and fresh ways and can also increase viewership and interactivity. However, if not used correctly, Twitter updates can spread false information and even complete lies. A time when social media use can work in either direction is during a crisis or major news event. It is too easy to retweet without verification. But,  if the information in a retweet is incorrect, as journalists, this is as bad as posting a completely fabricated story on the front page of your newspaper or in the A-block of a newscast. So, check out these guidelines from Mashable for what responsibilities social media users have during a crisis.

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