Hurricane Sandy shows dark side of social media

Social media served as a useful tool for family and friends to keep tabs on each other during the storm, but Hurricane Sandy exposed a dangerous underbelly of social media: False information can go viral. “There were a lot of rumors going around,” said Emily Rahimi, the social media strategist for the New York Fire Department, who writes and monitors its Twitter feed. She said even though rumors spread on the fire department’s social media, it was just as easy to use the site to debunk rumors. At one point, she posted a message that read, “There is much misinformation being spread about #Sandy’s impact on #NYC,” and pointed people to official city Twitter feeds for accurate information.

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