Social networks: sometimes social-megaphone, sometimes social-trap, sometimes social-fake

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In an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Pais, Zygmunt Bauman has called social media “a trap”. In the opinion of the sociologist “the difference between a community and a network is that you belong to a community, while a network belongs to you. If you give it explains control. You can add friends when you want to and you can delete them the same way. Are held an eye on the people with whom you want to relate.
The result is that all this makes people feel good, says Bauman, because loneliness, abandonment, is the biggest fear that plagues our individualistic era. But it is so easy to add or remove friends on social media that people forget the rules of social behavior, necessary when you go on the street, at work, or when you are forced to establish an empathic relationship with the people around us. True dialogue is not talking to people who believe the same as you. Social media teach us not to talk because in that world it’s easy to avoid the controversy, when desired. Most people use social media to connect and not even to broaden their horizons, but, on the contrary, to lock themselves in a comfort zone where the only sounds are the echoes of their voice and the only things that see are the reflections of your face. Social media are very helpful and pleasant, but they are a trap”.
In any case it is a “trap” that in a state of crisis may prove useful. Let’s be honest, the company also had the merit to shorten the distance and speed, too, communication.
Last case was the bombing of Berlin on 19 December. Lot of people have managed to reassure their relatives and let them know they are safe, thanks to the help of Facebook, Youtube, Skype and Twitter. Many online immediate appeals to find the missing, as in the case Italy’s Fabrizia Di Lorenzo, found dead.
Social media have become an important supplement to traditional forms of collection and dissemination of news and information in case of emergencies. Undoubtedly the potential as an information megaphone, as an act of event monitoring, or as update channel in real time, are there for all to see, especially in critical situations. Mainly because they allow to immediately share information, humanitarian efforts, distress calls and allow you to get in touch with the agencies responsible for emergency management.
They conquered such an important value to push the UN to issue a handbook, a kind of general guidance for the use of Facebook and Twitter in emergencies such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks.
This created a mechanism relentlessly and viral communication “from below”, that Orson Wells was renamed citizen journalism, which quickly replaced and integrated the media so called one-way. Earthquakes, terrorist attacks, disasters, we can always have the pulse of the situation.
But not only, as also admits Bauman, the company have the advantage of combining the squares, as happened with the Arab Spring, Egypt and between 2010 and 2011. So much to bring many leaders of countries with dictatorial governments to obscure these online platforms.
But back to emergencies.
Unfortunately, in Italy there is still little use of social by the institutions during emergencies, except for the Foreign Ministry, in the face instead of a citizenship that is mobilized and seek information and faster updates.
That is why it becomes important to think and try to understand the trends of the communication on social platforms and microblogging, and the use made of it to ensure that public administrators and NGOs, are able in time to prepare the emergency communication strategies effective.
But the risk of fakes is around the corner. The news from the bottom often do not have reliable sources, and so you have to take them with pliers. A battle also supported by Hilary Clinton that against Fake news, which often saw her involved, so as to bring the former first lady to define “an epidemic that must be stopped.”
Victims of the fake news from social networks are actors like Morgan Freeman, who would have died several times, but is in excellent health.
So the question remains crisis from social networks or social networks from the crisis?

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