Showing all posts tagged: social media
Mexican citizens are crowdsourcing information about the narco wars in Mexico, circumventing official channels and filling a vacuum left by ineffective news media:
Damien Cave, Mexico Turns to Twitter and Facebook for Information and Survival
In many ways, the explosion of electronic crime-sharing is the product of trends that both create and destroy communities: Mexico today is both highly connected and highly dangerous. Around 40,000 people have been killed in the ramped-up drug war of the past five years, while the middle class is growing, scared and increasingly networked. Cellphones are as common as keys; Twitter has more than four million users in Mexico, according to tracking companies; and among the more than 30 million people with regular Internet access, 95 percent have profiles on Facebook.
Add to that the proliferation of Web sites and blogs dedicated to covering violence with submissions from readers (Wikinarco, Blogdelnarco, Borderland Beat), and what Mexico has ended up with is a crowd-sourced universe of morbid, frightening information — which is often not available elsewhere.
“Social media is filling the gap left by the press,” said Andrés Monroy-Hernández, a doctoral candidate from Mexico at the M.I.T. Media Lab. “In different regions of Mexico, both the state and the press are weak, while organized crime is becoming stronger and, in some places, replacing the state.”
Many Mexicans now say they trust Twitter more than local news outlets, and in some areas, parents and grandparents are being taught by their children how to get online — specifically so they can be safe.
Here is social media serving a vital social need, and meanwhile, the regional government of Veracruz charged several people with terrorism and sabotage after spreading a rumor about criminal activity that led to parents racing to schools to pick up children, and causing car accidents, supposedly.
I guess we could be charged under the Patriot Act here, if similar circumstances took place.