The good, the bad and the ugly

Today a very tragic event happened in Boston, USA, during the charity runners part of the marathon, as most of the elite runners had already finished. It is absolutely awful that events of this nature occur in the world and my thoughts, well wishes and prayers go to those who are affected by this bombing. What people can do to other innocent people and why is beyond my comprehension.

This event was braodcasted around the world extremely quickly through the use of social media. There was also the official finishing line camera man and photographers who captured the whole event, sending images to newsrooms around the world, providing information to people who might have loved ones in Boston.

The good – stories and images of people rushing to help others have quickly appeared on social media. People put their lives on the line – not knowing whether another bomb would go off, but they went in and helped those who in need. The Boston Marathon volunteers who probably weren’t trained for this kind of event, helped as much as the could. It’s this compassion and strength that gives me hope for mankind.

Social media also assisted people finding their loved ones in this time of need. People were able to update their status, stating they are safe allowing a check-in for concerned families and friends.

The bad – that is occured in the first place and the rumours spread like fire!

The ugly – the uncencored images that are coming through social media. It surprises me that we are getting such graphic images so quickly. ‘Disaster Porn’ is not new but it still amazes me that people want to see such raw images and in some way social media has enabled this to occur.

Don’t get me wrong, I love social media, especially in disasters. It’s advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Social media can allow real time disaster intelligence for authorities – allowing those who need to know, what is actually happening so services can be provided. It can also quickly diseminate information so that people know what is happening (reducing panic), what areas to avoid (improving safety) and provides information on what they can do to help (increasing resiliant communities). But social media can also make people put themselves in danger so that they can capture images and stories and get their 5 minutes of fame. Some of the images are raw, some are graphic and yes some are very informative. But my question is, do we need to see the real graphic images otherwise known as ‘disasater porn’?

Again, my thoughts and prayers are with the people affected by this tragic event.

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