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Should ordinary social media activity halt in the immediate aftermath of a major tragedy?

ABC News U.S. 2013/04/19 00:00:00
Related Topics: Social Media, Media
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Following the news that two explosions had gone off near the finish line at the Boston Marathon on Monday, Colby Christopher, 29, saw his Facebook Newsfeed become dominated by news of the tragedy. But amongst the photos and posts about the victims and injured, there were a few others about everyday Facebook things.

"I was scrolling through my Newsfeed and shaking my head in disbelief at other's lack of awareness," Christopher, who is originally from Boston, told ABC News. "Uploading your spring break photos Monday evening while others are mourning, I'd say is just poor form."

Christopher wasn't alone in feeling that insensitivity. While most Twitter and Facebook feeds were dominated by the news, some continued to post their usual status updates, raising questions about social media etiquette and what is and what isn't appropriate to digitally talk about during a national tragedy.

Read More: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/boston-marathon-b...

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Top Opinion

  • Amber 2013/04/19 22:27:50
    No
    Amber
    +17
    People who aren't affected by a tragedy shouldn't act like they are, and those who don't pretend to be heartbroken because something awful happened on the other side of the country shouldn't be treated like heartless monsters.

    Aside from that, social media is a great way to get together the few people who actually are good people and actually do give a crap and let them help with relief efforts.

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  • ArisBoch 2013/04/24 22:42:55
  • ToiletGoddess 2013/04/24 20:25:53
    No
    ToiletGoddess
    As much as I might not care for it, it's important to get the public informed and to let them sift through the information themselves. Plus, I don't support censorship of any kind.
  • Blessed Sheep Gone Wild! 2013/04/24 14:34:47
    No
    Blessed Sheep Gone Wild!
    "I was scrolling through my Newsfeed and shaking my head in disbelief at other's lack of awareness," is about the biggest douche bag thing to say. let me just put it this way. So a terrorist wants your attention... so he kills people and you pay attention with your media buzz on facebook and twitter... but wait, not everyone is paying attention? oh no... we must make these acts of terror the most important thing and force everyone to stop posting pics of what they just ate.
    so if you want to be a terrorist just know that you have a lot of douche bags on their phones and computers spreading your word and evangelizing for you.
  • yabbadabbadoo 2013/04/24 08:47:47 (edited)
    No
    yabbadabbadoo
  • BigD_U.S.M."HD"Vet. 2013/04/23 23:16:41
    No
    BigD_U.S.M."HD"Vet.
    WHY??
  • flyingseaturtle BN 2013/04/23 20:40:13
    No
    flyingseaturtle BN
    +2
    People should live their own lives. If you think it is proper to post spring break photos while others are showing tragedy that should be your choice.
  • Cuthbert Allsgood 2013/04/23 18:39:19
    No
    Cuthbert Allsgood
    +1
    Ridiculous question.
  • Drue-AFCL 2013/04/23 18:39:13
    No
    Drue-AFCL
    +1
    Of course NOT!!!
  • LeroyRogers 2013/04/23 17:44:04
    Yes
    LeroyRogers
    facebook should halt forever.
  • 2013/04/23 17:05:26 (edited)
    No
    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    The rest of the world does not need to, nor should they be stopped from communication of ideas, concepts, and news, both of a public or private nature, simply because you are in mourning over a tragic incident.

    Don't forget, If restrictions were ever imposed on social media, It's usefulness as a news reporting and social reform tool would be annihilated, because without that freedom of speech that exists in much social media, it would lose it's usefulness as a tool for reporting.

    Don't forget... The world does not revolve around you, but America at least, still gives everyone a chance under the spotlight!
  • blumunofky 2013/04/23 14:50:11
    No
    blumunofky
    Should it? Yes. Will it? Get real. It can't be stopped in ordinary situations. And bear in mind, while the wild rumors were tweeting all over the place, there also was valuable information shared that helped catch the perpetrators.
  • T. James H 2013/04/23 04:39:05
  • Alex Xela 2013/04/23 04:05:44
  • Zoe Michele 2013/04/22 23:48:34
    No
    Zoe Michele
    unfortunately the rest of the world, or country, is free to do what they want and post what they want, if you don't like it, unfriend them. And maybe they didn't know about it right as they were posting, cut them some slack.
  • Joe 2013/04/22 23:28:51
  • ComeOnNow 2013/04/22 22:20:16
    No
    ComeOnNow
    +1
    The democrats will be so disappointed if Dzhokhar Tsarnaev gets the death penalty. They want him to become a professor at a worthless liberal institution like Columbia or Illinois to indoctrinate our children with radical radical views.

    At least this is what history says about terrorist bombers that kill innocent people. Columbia just hired unrepentant terrorist bomber Kathy Boudin who killed at least three innocent people ( leaving 9 children without fathers), and planned to bomb our troops at New Jersey’s Fort Dix for non-commissioned officers and their wives or girlfriends as they danced. NYU law school gave her an award as well. William Ayres was also part of the same group and Obama was friends with that monster and he was a professor at Illinois. In 1971, Boudin and Bernadine Dohrn (William Ayres Wife) also placed an explosive device in a restroom at the United States Capitol building. Just to give you an idea of how radical these freaks are that the democrats embrace.

    That is right, as democrats pretend to be outraged at the innocent people being massacred, in reality, they are hiring the same kind of monsters to teach your children in and you Democrat monsters are also ok with the president that you voted for being friends with one of these monsters. Democrats love p...
    The democrats will be so disappointed if Dzhokhar Tsarnaev gets the death penalty. They want him to become a professor at a worthless liberal institution like Columbia or Illinois to indoctrinate our children with radical radical views.

    At least this is what history says about terrorist bombers that kill innocent people. Columbia just hired unrepentant terrorist bomber Kathy Boudin who killed at least three innocent people ( leaving 9 children without fathers), and planned to bomb our troops at New Jersey’s Fort Dix for non-commissioned officers and their wives or girlfriends as they danced. NYU law school gave her an award as well. William Ayres was also part of the same group and Obama was friends with that monster and he was a professor at Illinois. In 1971, Boudin and Bernadine Dohrn (William Ayres Wife) also placed an explosive device in a restroom at the United States Capitol building. Just to give you an idea of how radical these freaks are that the democrats embrace.

    That is right, as democrats pretend to be outraged at the innocent people being massacred, in reality, they are hiring the same kind of monsters to teach your children in and you Democrat monsters are also ok with the president that you voted for being friends with one of these monsters. Democrats love people that bomb and kill innocent people, kill police officers, pay no attention to abortion doctors that clip the spinal cords of children born alive. The sick part is that everything I said here is true. If you think that bombers and child murders are monsters, you need to stand up to the radicals in your party, universities that your children attend or that you donate to, and even on school boards. I find this completely unacceptable as should any normal person.
    (more)
  • LeroyRo... ComeOnNow 2013/04/23 17:45:19
  • moiraregis LeroyRo... 2013/04/23 18:34:03
    moiraregis
    just more incoherent drivel about Bill Ayres; don't even bother to look, unless you LIKE being bored to tears--
  • LeroyRo... moiraregis 2013/04/25 11:15:10 (edited)
    LeroyRogers
    what is it with liberals and facts/truth? they either don't know the facts/truth, or they ignore the facts/truth when the facts/truth get in the way of their agenda.

    man with head up his ass
  • moiraregis ComeOnNow 2013/04/23 18:32:54
    moiraregis
    God almighty, are you nuts!
  • ComeOnNow moiraregis 2013/04/23 20:11:15
    ComeOnNow
    You are not even outraged by the lefts love of murderous bombers. Think about that without your democrat ass wrapped around your head. It is clearly you that is nuttier than squirrel crap.
  • n-person 2013/04/22 22:10:47
    No
    n-person
    I posted dropkick Murphys song from the departed
  • moiraregis 2013/04/22 20:45:56
    No
    moiraregis
    oh give me a break already; now we have to be politically correct in our narcissistic blatherings on facebook? it's not against the law to be insensitive, inappropriate or offensive. in this country you have the right to be as big a jerk as you like, at least in matters of speech. all you Constitutional scholars out there who so frantically "protect" the second amendment sure don't give much credence to the first.
  • Righteous Robert 2013/04/22 18:13:27
    No
    Righteous Robert
    Give me the GORE and I don't mean Al Gore.

    Baltimore Bob
  • Cameron 2013/04/22 16:18:18
    No
    Cameron
    The Show Must Go on!
  • Nat Turner 2013/04/22 14:46:49
    Yes
    Nat Turner
    As long as what is being said is positive, and informative!
  • moiraregis Nat Turner 2013/04/22 20:49:39
    moiraregis
    +3
    and whom would YOU appoint to be Grand Arbiter of Positivity and Informativeness, and under what qualifications? get this straight: we have the right to be uninformative, negative, apathetic, uninformed, downright mean and incredibly stupid. you don't believe me, look at most of the remarks on sodahead alone--
  • Nat Turner moiraregis 2013/04/23 11:28:45
    Nat Turner
    As a matter of fact this is the land of the free, so anything can be said! But that doesn't mean I have to listen to that B.S flowing out of your stupid head, Now does it?"
  • moiraregis Nat Turner 2013/04/23 18:23:53
    moiraregis
    no, it certainly does not; i don't even know who you are, so you can't blame me for your reading what I wrote; I see by your immediate descent into insults and profanity that you're not so hot at the "positive and informative" bit yourself; my head is pretty smart, and I think you know it, and that's what made you so terribly nasty. the only point I was trying to make is that telling lies about ugly truths by simply omitting any mention of them is a really bad idea. It makes people numb and stupid; try reading Fahrenheit 451 and you'll see what I mean--
  • Nat Turner moiraregis 2013/04/24 11:48:47
    Nat Turner
    O.K I'm sorry about the insults and I think Obama would be a good grand arbiter.
  • legalam... Nat Turner 2013/06/01 17:35:24
    legalamericanwoman
    complete truth is informative.

    Note our government feels telling us lies is helpful to themselves and making themselves into "positive" and " informative" role models for us all.

    I would rather not have my government tel me what I should think because that makes me as stupid and as bad as they.
  • Nat Turner legalam... 2013/06/10 14:26:52
    Nat Turner
    If you are like me! I sometime sit back and watch to see what the end will bring us.
  • triplet granny 2013/04/22 14:18:17
    No
    triplet granny
    It's a means of communication. Would you suggest shutting down the phones? Then everyone could live in ignorance and never know what's going on except for what the Obama Broadcasting Networks choose to tell you. They tried so hard to blame "right-wing extremists" before anyone knew what was going on. You can't believe anything they say.
  • moiraregis triplet... 2013/04/22 20:52:41
    moiraregis
    especially the New York Post, owned and controlled by Rupert Murdoch, blind supporter of all that is dishonest and conservative [sorry for the redundancy]--no one in the Obama administration tried to blame anyone until the one living suspect was caught. I guess you heard this lie on Fox News, where I bet you believe EVERYTHING they say.
  • triplet... moiraregis 2013/04/23 14:25:38
    triplet granny
    No, actually I heard the lies spewed by the Obama acolytes speculating that it was "right wing extremists".
  • moiraregis triplet... 2013/04/23 18:31:56
    moiraregis
    but President Obama himself urged patience and not to jump to conclusions about whoever did the bombings. he sure didn't, but he can't control what other people say--remember, that's still against the law, thank God. I think everyone who heard this story put their own Black Hat into the faceless outlines of the alleged perpetrator[s]. Didn't you? Glenn Beck is still doing it, for heaven's sake! btw, I am nobody's acolyte, but I am a fan of this President. If you were honest with yourself, you could not deny his basic decency and concern for all of us in America presently getting f****d over by the corporatocracy--best of all, despite the best efforts of the nutty wing of the right, he has never once gotten into the gutter with them no matter how they try to provoke him. He knows he hasn't the time for such childish nonsense. He's got a country to run.
  • mike j 2013/04/22 13:45:18 (edited)
    No
    mike j
    +1
    No, tragedy does not rise above the rights of Americans to communicate with each other and express their opinions . What is essential is that any orginazation that has the status as a News Media , must report the truth and not interject opinion or speculation. Recogonized News Media should take a position that they are obgilated to their readers and viewers or listeners to report the truth and only the truth when it comes to reporting on a tragedy. In other words News Media if you dont know the truth , then dont report anything . hold off until rumors or speculation is hard core verified , drama and theater being broadcast as hard core news has certainly dimmed the view I have of the News Media, and now this dimming has become for me a dismissial of the reported news as factual.
  • Djobido 2013/04/22 12:22:26
    No
    Djobido
    No....we once had a situation so bad the phone network wasn't working anymore because of all the people calling for help or looking for friends,lives were saved because of twitter and facebook!
  • Colbert 2013/04/22 08:07:09
    Yes
    Colbert
    +1
    Yes. Any God-fearing nation should immediately limit free speech of its citizens, especially after attacking them.
  • redhorse29 2013/04/22 06:41:14
    Yes
    redhorse29
    +1
    Sorry. Meant NO.
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