Rumor Monitoring and Correction on Social Media

Long-time readers will remember a piece I wrote about a tool the Guardian newspaper put together looking at rumors that were making the rounds on Twitter during the riots in London last summer. It was excellent, and very interesting, and bears asking you to go check it out again.

But if you didn’t, here’s the quick overview:

Farida Vis, the speaker in this video, is a lecturer who specializes in social media and crisis situations, and this video is her dissecting what happened on Twitter during those riots, step-by-step. Her conclusion, though, is what I wanted to draw your attention to. She says:

Social media is really effective itself at debunking these rumors.

She asks three things of people who would tweet during a crisis:

1. If you’re going to retweet, check what you’re retweeting.

2. If you’re going to send out information and you don’t know the provenance of the information, please say so. Just say that you don’t know, say it’s unconfirmed.

3. If you’re in the possession of valuable information to debunk rumors, add a link so that other people can cascade this information and debunk rumors.