Did you see the shark swimming down a flooded residential street in New Jersey? Can you believe the subway station in New York was so badly flooded, scuba divers had to be sent in to check out the damage? If you saw some of the pictures being tweeted tonight, you would know it’s true, right? Wrong!
While social media can be a big asset when covering news events, it can also catch the most experienced journalists off guard. We’ve seen before how quickly erroneous information can spread through Twitter and Facebook, and ultimately the mainstream media. Hurricane Sandy and the fury of tweets and Facebook posts that accompany it, are allowing for plenty of opportunities for false reports.
Based on past experiences, some media companies have set up fact-checking teams to check the validity of information and pictures being tweeted during the storm. Many newsrooms are beginning to take a closer look at what information is pushed to air or paper through social media