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Twitter: The Dangerous Effects Of Social Networking

895 words - 4 pages

In our society, social networking has become very popular over the last 5 years. Twitter is a social networking site that allows users to become “followers” of other people and stay informed about current events and social trends. Many argue whether or not these social websites such as Twitter, are good for society. In two articles about Twitter, the authors present different arguments about why Twitter is good or bad for society. The author of “Heading off disaster, one Tweet at a time” by Jim Spellman, states that Twitter is a good way of communicating current events happening around the world. The other article, “Is Twitter Bad for National Security?” by Tony Bradley, argues that Twitter could have dangerous effects on our nation’s security.

Social networking can be a good tool when communicating world news, such as natural disasters, because it can communicate faster that a news broadcast can. In the article by Spellman, he states that when FEMA chief Craig Fugate was made aware of an explosion in California, Fugate stated that “I got out my little Android phone and went on Twitter and pulled up the grid to search for 'explosion' and got tweets coming out of the area." After a few minutes of reviewing Tweets on Twitter, Fugate realized that the explosion was localized to one community and was very severe (Spellman). Fugate then states, "I got better situational awareness [from Twitter] before we got official word," he said. "Four or five years ago I wouldn't have gotten that quality of information" (Spellman). This information can then be quickly relayed to first responder’s en route to the incident so they can be better prepared for the conditions. This can also aid with the decreasing of response times and assist the responding personnel with immediate situation updates thus preventing depletion of resources which could waste valuable time. Social networking can also be very helpful with up to the minute severe weather warnings to better prepare people for tornadoes and flash flooding. The earlier that severe weather notification is received, the sooner people can plan to seek shelter and alert other Twitter followers of the changing weather conditions. Therefore by using Twitter as form of early notification for disasters, the loss of people or property may be prevented.

While one author thinks that Twitter can be a good resource for information concerning public events or breaking news, Bradley thinks otherwise. Bradley argues that social networking sites such as Twitter can be detrimental to society. Bradley disputes that although Twitter is a public forum, the content on Twitter be should be monitored. Bradley states that Tweeting the agenda of your...

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