Social Media in a Time of Crisis



For all the concerns we have as individuals (and particularly for parents) surrounding Social Media, there are some very valid and legitimate use cases. In particular, we have seen numerous times in the face of a crisis, where Social Media has been the communication lifeline to those in danger and those concerned about loved ones.

Most recently, this was exemplified during the tragic events in Parkland, Florida. The amount of content being produced during the actual emergency was astounding. Although some of it was incredibly graphic, it did serve as a valuable communication tool for those on the outside, likely to also include law enforcement. So where does the responsibility of these Social Channels fall in a time of crisis? Having the information shared at the time of the emergency may be the right thing to do, and could even save lives. However, in the aftermath of tragic event, should these platforms go back and revisit the content published? In some instances, particularly with the video footage, I’m unclear on the long-term positive value of keeping it intact and as is. This is further magnified by those in the videos who did not know they were being included in the footage and may not want that being shared repeatedly.

Although I see the tremendous value of this communication platform in a time of any type of crisis, I’d like to encourage those companies (and also the original individual posters) to consider their policies on reviewing the longevity of some of this content, to be available.

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