I am writing this as journalists on Indian News Channels cite police sourecs to refute new rumors of gun fights across Mumbai. Regarding the usage of social media tools, Twitter in specific, veteran blogger and reporter Amy Gahrah has suggested four rules for responsible Twittering.
Why focus onTwitter only?
Because people find making 140 character posts easier and because it fast.
However, excessive Twittering has given rise to information pollution. You just can't fugure out which Tweet to follow and can't figure out between false and true Tweets. There are just so many of them out there.
Here are Amy's rules for Twittering news events:
1. Check the source BEFORE you share info.
2. Include key hashtags when making queries or corrections.
3. Encourage people spreading a rumor to correct or update.
4. Accept that not everyone thinks like a journalist -- or wants to.