How would the events of Sept. 11, 2001, have been different if we had today’s social media tools?
That’s the question many are asking as the country observes the tragedy’s 10th anniversary, including Chicago Magazine
blogger Whet Moser who noted several theories on how the day would have been different.
For instance, there’s Washington Post publisher Katherine Weymouth
, who makes the following point: “Can you imagine how horrifying it would have been if we had tweets from the victims on the planes or in the offices, or if they had posted to their Facebook pages?
“Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and all the technologies that have yet to be invented make all these events more real, and more horrific. Television pales in comparison.”
Moser offers the following points:
“If I was going to make Weymouth's anti-social-media-on-9/11 argument, my first worry is that it would degrade the quality of the information available, which wasn't good to begin with. But I tend to be optimistic when it comes to information technologies and their democratization, so I can at least see a possibility for benefit.
“Second, I can see it providing a benefit for the historical record. Not about knowing why people jumped from the towers, because, my God. But in the wake of 9/11, media—‘social’ and professional—played a role in the forensic analysis of the towers' collapse.”
Read Moser’s full post here