Social Media Confusion Post-London Attack Emphasize Need For Incident Protocols On Twitter, Facebook

I live in London Bridge so the events that took place on Saturday were unnerving but also galvanising in a couple of areas; 1) social media has become more of a curse than a blessing during a crisis and 2) more can (and should) be done by the big platforms in times of crisis before governments step in (as Prime Minister May subtly hinted at on Sunday morning).

I have said before that Twitter’s real value and mark on the world is shown by events like the ones I saw unfurl on Saturday. The +300m strong network is a bastion of help for many but increasingly a place of misinformation and vitriol when you need a clear signal in times of trouble. Twitter, like Facebook, is not the keeper of truth but the job of first-responder is increasingly going to Twitter whether you have an account or not.  To be clear, I am a huge proponent of the open web, I believe in freedom to say whatever you want but I also believe that platforms like Facebook and Twitter have a huge choice to promote and guide. I agree platforms like Facebook, Snap and Twitter are changing the way we approach life and incidents like this – they are part of the problem and also part of the solution. I don’t want to live in a world where we all think and act the same but I think the big platforms have a duty to inform us and remove misinformation. Facts are facts. I don’t care what Kellyanne Conway wants you to believe but I respect her freedom to try.

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