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Ohio State Attack Mitigated by Social Media Coverage

Img source: The Columbus Dispatch
On 28 November, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a student at Ohio State, carried out an attack at the school. Artan drove his car into a crowd of people, hitting several people before wielding a butcher knife. He stabbed at least two people, relenting only after the police delivered fatal gunshot wounds. All in all, 11 people were hurt with the majority of damage caused by his car attack. University president Michael Drake told The Guardian that he heard that it was Artan's first semester, but offered no other details about the student in order to refrain from interfering with the investigation. As the attack took place the Monday after Thanksgiving break, classes were cancelled for the rest of the day.

As quickly as the attack came and went (a couple minutes), OSU police found time to share a warning on social media. Officials issued a slew of tweets warning students of the attack, outlining areas to avoid, and advising keeping them abreast of goings-on.






The first warning, tweeted at 6:56, advised readers to "run, hide, fight." The run, hide, fight safety protocol advises those threatened by an armed, dangerous predator to evacuate the endangered area if possible, quietly and quickly hide in a safe place, and fight if your life is in danger, using ordinary objects to take the predator out of action. This video on YouTube expands upon the concept while this article debates it.

The Associated Press confirmed Artan's death on Twitter.


Student-run The Lantern tweeted that there was "at least one body bag" on the scene.

Artan's attack was mitigated by social media involvement. Updates were shared in real time and his antics cataloged "as students, the school, media members, and witnesses used technology to get their message to the appropriate people," said The Wrap.


According to The Wrap, news outlets used Periscope and Facebook Live to broadcast from the campus.


The efficiency of social media coverage in the Ohio State attack perfectly demonstrates the ideal use of social media. Almost immediately after transpiring, the attack was given varied and thorough coverage; from live-streams to update tweets, the country watched the aftermath of the attack with baited breath. Footage of the scene offered viewers an on-the-ground, live experience. This is only one of many instances in which live-streaming can benefit the greater good. Quickly sharing the details of an attack can keep potential victims out of danger, alert families to happenings, and effectively spread news on a global scale.


Jacqui Litvan

Jacqui Litvan, wielding a bachelor's degree in English, strives to create a world of fantasy amidst the ever-changing landscape of military life. Attempting to become a writer, she fuels herself with coffee (working as a barista) and music (spending free time as a raver). Follow her @Songbird_Jacqui


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Ohio State Attack Mitigated by Social Media Coverage Reviewed by Jacqueline Litvan on Thursday, December 01, 2016 Rating: 5

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