Mexico’s out of control drug war has compelled many of the traditional print media outlets to cease covering the conflict out of safety for journalists. In this information vacuum has stepped a variety of bloggers and social networking websites like Twitter. Recently commuters discovered two tortured bodies hanging from a footbridge in Nuevo Laredo a northern city that has experienced much fighting related to the drug wars. Near the bodies was a note saying “This will happen to all gossips on the Internet.” Drug cartels aren’t the only threat though. The government arrested on terrorist charges after spreading false Twitter rumors that children were being kidnapped from schools. Source: http://www.economist.com/blogs/americasview/2011/09/free-speech-mexico
This presents an interesting question for governments, how do you deal with social networking sites since the law is obviously foggy in this area. You don’t want to shut out what has proven to be awesome tool for information sharing…or maybe you would given the bloody nature of this conflict. But we also cannot opt for a culture that allows for any rumor to become absolute fact. There needs to be some element of human accountability here and realize that the actions you take on social networking websites can have real world consequences beyond our lens of vision.