Earlier this afternoon, I wrote a long post about Facebook’s coverage of Ferguson, which included the handwringing from many members of the media over Facebook’s algorithm filtering hard news coverage of the protests. It also included a a good bit of praise from the same crowd (myself, included) as to the raw, unfiltered, and ceaseless coverage of all developments out of Ferguson. The consensus from the media crowd: Twitter is the best place for raw breaking news.
Are you sure you want raw breaking news?
Just an hour ago a very disturbing video surfaced, allegedly showing American journalist James Foley being brutally beheaded. Naturally, the link to the video as well as extremely disturbing and graphic photos began to appear on Twitter. In the past year, Twitter has updated to allow in-stream image and video previews, meaning many users didn’t have any warning before seeing the graphic scene.
Naturally, the reaction was of horror and disgust, as well as justified criticism of posting the images at all:
Of course, nobody here is even remotely wrong! Instead, what this illustrates is the media’s fraught relationship with Twitter. We live on it. It’s essential to our work and we praise its speed and ability to deliver unfiltered news. On the other hand: we live on it; it’s essential to our work; and it delivers unfiltered news.
What makes Twitter great for news makes it, at times, a horrible place; Facebook, meanwhile, would never do that to you. A quick trip to my Facebook feed shows one quick post about the beheading via Gawker (it was gone after one refresh) — the rest is ice buckets and viral news, courtesy of the algorithm.
- The U.S. will release Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard after 30 years. The move isn't tied to the Iran nuclear deal, American officials say.
- Officials released new footage proving Sandra Bland was "alive and well" when her mugshot was taken. The release aims to counter social media rumors that she was deceased in the photo.
- The NFL has upheld Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's four-game suspension for his alleged involvement with the deflation of footballs 🏈