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Boston blasts show two sides of social media

Zach Miners | April 16, 2013
Twitter users reacted fast to the explosions that ripped through the Boston Marathon Monday, but the incident also revealed how social media can only be so reliable in such situations.

"As long as the event happens in a public space, there's no way to stop over-the-top or inappropriate information from getting out there," Weide said.

For sure, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites were a useful source of information for many tracking the events. Google set up a Person Finder, as it did after the Japan earthquake two years ago, to help people connect with friends and loved ones after the incident.

Not surprisingly, the hashtag #bostonmarathon spiked sharply almost immediately after the attacks, said Hashtags.org, and mentions of "Boston" soared on Facebook, reported analytics company Topsy.

 

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