The Thread showed how people can easily get the wrong information from other users of the internet. Although, the majority of people on the internet agreed with a specific theory they didn’t have any solid evidence to back it up and the result of it was smearing an innocent man’s name.
I think the biggest journalistic mistake was when Andrew from Buzzfeed retweeted/tweeted the information about hearing Sunil’s name on the police radio.
He had a lot of followers and credibility so many believed that what he was tweeting was accurate, causing other journalist and people to retweet and post that information causing a snowball effect of misinformation.
With today’s technology almost anything is accessible, depending on how the information is taken and used, it could be a good thing or bad thing.
The first thread from Reddit in the video, where people used it to make sure friends and family were okay or not, was more of a live feed of the account, which was not doing anything but connecting and informing others in a non-harmful way.
However, the second thread on Reddit to find the Boston bomber was a bit too much. People who probably weren’t even there were trying to find a suspect and although they were trying to be helpful these people had no sort of experience for finding a suspect in a crime.
They had the right idea in mind to help officials find a suspect, but at the same time, other people were just making the situation worse. Especially when they put out Sunil’s name and others said they recognized and could see the resemblance between him and the suspect in the picture.
The takeaway for a journalist is that the internet is full of useful and not useful information. As a journalist, and as an internet user in general, you should always be skeptical about the information you are getting.
I would say that’s the point the filmmaker was presenting for discussion is that you should always triple check information with various sources before posting information that could cause a flame to grow.
I think the film showed a great example of how immediate the internet is and how all the information gathered by contributors could easily make a wrong turn, if not careful about what the user is putting out there.
This is definitely a good film for a journalism student and also for everyone who uses the internet to gather information because it reminds you that although the internet can be incredibly useful there are times when users contribute wrong information.
We should all definitely be reminded of that especially since it’s such a big part of the majority of people’s lives.