Quoted – Military uses social media to share info on Fort Hood shootings – Federal Computer Week

Social Media Landscape
Image by fredcavazza via Flickr

Facebook and Twitter quickly became a way to communicate during and after the attack

The Army’s public affairs staff at Fort Hood used Facebook today to publish a note saying the media relations office is inundated with requests and is answering queries as quickly as possible.

The post, which appeared on the Army’s official Facebook page, is just one way social media is being used in the wake of the mass shooting that left 13 people dead and at least 30 others wounded, according to the Army.

It is not surprising that so many people turned to social media first to communicate about the shootings, said Scott Testa, a Cabrini College business professor with expertise in social media.

“You have a lot of people in the military that were raised on texting and now social media,” Testa said. “They’re not watching the network news; they’re getting all their news electronically.”

Testa said he saw social media help clarify conflicting reports in the hours after the shootings. Individuals on the base were able to confirm or deny reports of lockdowns and other incidents via Twitter, he said.

While social media can help clear up conflicting reports, it also has the power to perpetuate false information, he said.

“That’s why the government has to put out info via these channels,” he said. “You can’t let it fester if the information is wrong; you have to respond to that.”

review of the benefits and risks of using social media within the Defense

http://fcw.com/articles/2009/11/06/fort-hood-social-media.aspx

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