Sunday, 12 February 2012
The introduction of social media has allowed everyone, anywhere in the world to speak their mind and share their thoughts with millions across the internet. It has enabled people to reply, add to, edit and/or contradict content shared by other users. This is just as true for the flow of information and news that social media has allowed users to share and add to the internet. Because of social media, information and news for just about any subject you can think of can be found in abundance and with ease from multiple different sources throughout the internet. Since the introduction of social media, users have been adding/editing news and information on millions of different subjects through various different social media tools. The ability of users to become authors, editors, and publishers of news and information through the use of these tools has massively increased the number of sources of news and information available. This has been a very positive thing, giving people a chance to get their news and information on various subjects from sources other than the big news and information publishers. When it comes to the question of information/news quality, it leaves more judgement to the end user on whether or not the source is a reliable/reputable one. That being said, you must always consider the source of your information and whether there is fact behind the information, just opinion or if it's motive/money driven, be it an individual "publisher" or a known corporate publisher. Always questions the validity of the information/news you find. There is and always has been an aspect of user discretion when it comes the validity of information. Social media has widely broadened the sources of information available and given the individual user the ability to be an author and publisher of information. Many independent sources still produce very reliable information. All the original, big name publishers still exist and are still very much available. Their channels of communication have actually increased because of social media tools. Social media might have slightly decreased the quality of news/information only due to the fact that there are now millions of "publishers" and information sources available, some being not as reliable as others but in exchange has opened the door to millions of new information sources and sheer amount of subject matter available to the common user. It has actually given the end user more sources to compare/evaluate reliability, relevance and validity of content to. I think social media has really only increased the need and awareness level of content users when it comes to questioning the validity of the information or news content they come across.