Twitter Lessons from Boston Marathon Explosion

16 Apr

The New York Post’s report of a Saudi suspect in custody seemed to be the most irresponsible, unconfirmed claim made after Monday’s Boston Marathon explosion. The news was quickly disputed by police and other media outlets, and this morning we now know that a young Saudi man is under watch at the hospital, but is not in custody, nor has he been named a suspect.

Overall, though, the media appears to have made significant strides in restraining itself during breaking news, unlike during Newtown when Adam Lanza’s brother was misidentified as the shooter, and to pull a lesser example, when Joe Paterno was pronounced dead before he actually died.

Here are a few more good practices that were cemented yesterday:

Turn off your scheduled tweets (even I let one slip out before I could turn the rest off):

Don’t promote your brand:

You don’t have to participate if you have nothing to add. But as an alternative:

Most importantly: Confirm, confirm, confirm – in case you have the wrong information such as in this tweet:


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