Twitter Terror? Mumbai bomb attacks: pros and cons

on Dec 01 in News, panconsciousness, technology, tools, trends, Twitter posted by

The Web is buzzing with discussion of how Twitter was used during the recent bomb attacks in Mumbai, India. While Twitterers anxiously Tweeted about the events as they unfolded, the authorities expressed concern about how Twitter could be used to help the terrorists.

Most mainstream news articles seemed impressed that Twitter and other social media could be used to report the events in real time.

But on a darker note, reminding me of an October 2008 US Army report (Terrorists May Twitter, Army Says), the Times of London reported that “citizen journalists” were being “told to stop using Twitter to update on Bombay attacks,” because of fears that the perpetrators were using the Tweets to gather intelligence about the response to their attacks.

Yet, PC World reports that Twitter and blogs were offering solace and assistance to relatives of the slain and wounded. (In Mumbai, Bloggers and Twitter Offer Help to Relatives) So evidently, there was some benefit to people being able to use Twitter during the atrocities.

So what’s the reality? Can Twitter be used for good or evil? The answer is, of course, both. Should Twitter use be banned or prevented during terrorist attacks to prevent misuse of the service?

As I have blogged previously in this column. Twitter is a tool. As such it is subject to human whim, used for good or bad, limited only by our imaginations. As such it reflects the collective conscious, or panconsciousness, and won’t be bound by our worries or concerns.

Other links
American Free Press Twitter, blogs provide riveting accounts of Mumbai attacks
Forbes Mumbai: Twitter’s Moment

2 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I think India government (especially, Sonia govt.) does not have the political or international acumen to deal with this scenario. India is a soft nation and so can be easily pushed around. Look at the terror attacks one after the another. The latest example is Mumabi. The younger generation of our country is either crazy for the film stars and the popular movie personalities, spend their time playing poker cards or busy in worshiping the game called cricket…huh..!

    Comment by akshay — January 19, 2009 @ 11:48 am

  2. Akshay,

    It must be difficult for such a large country as India to govern all its different parts effectively. India is so populous and diverse in people and regions that it will always struggle with providing effective government with the necessary freedom of expression and movement required by a healthy democracy.

    Comment by Roger — January 19, 2009 @ 2:58 pm

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