Reports from the attack on Mumbai have been sent in by Citizen Journalists (CJ’s) and picked up by the mainstream media using ‘Twitter‘ but it has not all been good news with the reporting:
- Rumours that terrorists were using it to communicate what/where the police were doing proved to be false.
- The police had to ask for CJ’s not to report information at sensitive times that where part of the operation, in case the terrorists were picking up the ‘tweet’s’
- A further slowing of the information channels was the fact that a lot of the tweets were just re broadcasting the news that had come from the main stream media and re-posting already broken news; this re-posted news has to be shifted through by journalists though to find the real news.
As yet there is little in the way of this service for photographers to send in images that will go out on an open news wire, yes there is Flickr and ShoZu that sort of does that, but not as easy as Twitter with a mobile phone.
The biggest concern to me is that again, we have the malicious rumours that terrorists are using Twitter service that was flagged up ages ago by the FBI as a possible threat.
With the new amended terrorist laws coming out in the UK any time now that could limit photography in public places and that the government ministers want the DA notices (previously known as D notices) to be enforceable to protect sensitive information being published in the press (leaked documents etc.)
Freedom of speech is seriously going to get undermined, authorities are just waiting for twitter users to stuff up in a big enough way to get the service shut down!
Now that anyone can be a twitter user, it would not be hard to deliberately sabotage the Twitter service
See Forbes: Mumbai Twitters Moment (full of distracting adverts! Do they really want you to read this?)