Post by @natevegas
This week the AP twitter account was hacked and the Dow Industrials immediately dropped 72 points in a matter of seconds. Granted, it recovered in just a few minutes after discovering the tweet was a fake, but the damage was (sort of) done. The next morning, on CNBC’s Squawk Box, the ripple effect was evident. Basically, the financial pundits freaked out.
But honestly, I’m not sure the fake AP Tweet is the complex part of this situation. At least not to social-savvy users. Like any media source – old or new – a responsible reader fact-checks. If the White House explosions were, in fact, real – and the President of The United States was truly injured – don’t you think it would be spreading like wildfire and ALL news sources would be covering it? I do. I’d look for confirmation from CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, or USA Today just to name a few.
I’m not sure we’ll ever know 100% who was responsible for the hacked AP “Terror Attack Tweet” that sent Wall Street into a frenzy, but I think it’s important to know that we can all take measures to prevent this type of situation (and with all the recent media blunders we’ve seen in the past couple weeks, social media education is an important step):
1. Set reminders to change your social media passwords. Don’t think this is important? Ask the Social media manager of the Associated Press, 60 Minutes, CBSDenver, or any of the other recent victims of account hacks.
2. RT Responsibly. Read the link. Fact check. If you follow Amy Jo Martin’s first of Digital Royalty’s Free 8 Royal Rules of Social Media and truly want to “Be The Media,” you have a responsibility to act professionally. Don’t be afraid to ask for a source.
3. Follow several sources. Simply following one news source on Twitter isn’t an endorsement. Follow both Fox News and CNN for example, to make sure the information you’re getting is aligned.
4. Create & Follow Lists. You can follow major media lists on Twitter as well as create your own. This underutilized feature on Twitter is a very simple way to track breaking news, separate your interests, and get information from a variety of sources.
5. Don’t partake in mob mentality. See #2. If your gut tells you it’s BS, it probably is.