Social media role in Norway attacks

Yesterday’s deadly attacks in Oslo and Utoya Island are still being investigated by authorities, total casualties number is still increasing and injured people are fighting for their life in hospital.
Events like these need us to stop and think – a lot, mourne for all the sufferings and pray.

That’s what I’ve been doing since yesterday, reminding how quite and pacific Norway looked in my mind.
I don’t have an answer or an explanation for such violence, nor can find one.

Today, Norway attacks are under the magnifying glass of worldwide media along with an alleged suspect – leading to a domestic terrorist answer (if ever) to this insane attack.

Now, even though still shocked, I’m realizing how much social media have played a major role in this tragic event in several key points.

During the attack and in the following moments.

An article by Christina Warren over on Mashable informs how the people in the vicinity immediately began to use Twitter and YouTube to share information and show the world what had occurred.

A video on YouTube shows the aftermath of the vehicle bomb attack near government buildings and the prime minister’s office.

Twitter on Utoya island.

Some people under fire in the Youth Camp on Utoya Island used Twitter to pray/ask for help, give a last word, tell people not to call them on the phone (a survivor stayed on the ground pretending she was dead).
Tweets by all attendees are now under investigation by Police in order to get more witnesses and associate them with survivors, casualties.

The suspect’s Facebook and Twitter profile

Anders Behring Breivik is being investigated and charged with the Utoya massacre.
His Facebook profile is not much like any other of the almost 700 mln Facebook users: today his profile is being x-rayed for his hatred, racist comments.

A Twitter account attributed to Breivik by Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten has only one message, dated July 17.
“One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who has only interests,” it says, adapting a quote from 19th-century British philosopher John Stuart Mill.

What happened is still unfolding under our very eyes (and screens) but world-breaking events like this seem to demonstrate that social network already play a part in informing the world about breaking news.

We should rethink the effectiveness of social media and the way people have turned to social media to unite and share what was happening.

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