Log in

No account? Create an account

#metro29 #Moscow

There's some provocative commentary I've heard today about the 'disappointing' role of social media in reporting on the tragic terror strike in Moscow. The lament is that the usual flood of tweets mainly constitutes re-tweets of mainstream news reports. However, while daytime progammes have continued to air undeterred by the news coming in, it is the internet that has served as the refuge of those with things to report and those keen to be kept abreast of goings-on.

I've been reading Russian twitterati, and everyone is tweeting about what they've seen, what they've heard, how the emergency services responded and how to distinguish between rumour and fact. Much of the anger on Runet right now is bring directed at Moscow cabbies who appear to be fleecing passengers afraid to use the metro, but some of it is also aimed at the seeming unpreparedness of the security forces who are otherwise omnipresent in the city. Tweets to do with the incident can be tracked by searching for all posts with '# metro 29' or '#Moscow', the latter being one of the trending topics of the day.

I'd say that pessimistic accounts of how Runetchiki are responding to the day's events are premature and rather prejudiced.

Besides, must social media perform a pronounced political role for it to be seen as fulfilling its potential as a popular platform? (alliteration unintended!) 


P.S. Apparently one over-zealous tweeter, ru_medvedev, has been pretending to be Medvedev issuing 'official reactions' to the incident; authorities are looking to trace this person! 




Interesting question you pose at the end, Sudha. An acquaintance told me that last year's research funding applications at EU level contained a disproportionately large amount of proposals focusing on the role of social media (and specifically Twitter) as a political empowerment tool. Not only were many of them poorly informed on recent new-media research, but it sounded like most relied on the view that Twitter 'ought to serve' as a vehicle for critical political expression - and that it 'fails' as a popular platform if it doesn't do so in the way the observer expects. I think you rightly point out that that view, of social media as Media with a Mission, deserves critical reflection.


December 2011



Powered by LiveJournal.com