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Social Media Rules of Engagement: Why Your Online Narrative is the Best Weapon During a Crisis by Nicole Matejic

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11The social grapevine:why seeing shouldn’t always be believing on social media

Do you trust what you read on social media?

Think back to when Facebook and Twitter first hit our desktops. In those first few years of social networking, this kind of information dissemination and consumption was a new thing. We were naturally suspicious of things we read online. The internet was still in its relative infancy. Even Wikipedia was not considered dependable. We still relied on print news, radio and television as our primary sources of information.

Fast forward over a decade to today. I’m going to guess that you’re now far more amenable to trusting the information and news you consume via online and social sources. In fact, you may even treat Wikipedia as an authoritative source.

How times change! But what if as a result of this change we’ve lost the ability to think critically and objectively about the news, information, images and video served up to us?

This question presents crisis communicators, particularly those entrenched in the social media and information operations space, with some significant challenges. They need not only to contend with the deliberate misreporting that is prevalent in a click-bait culture of selling news, but also to critically question the information and content they are served up with when managing organisational crisis.

Regardless of the source of the information, whether internal or external, now more than ever crisis communications must be savvy ...

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