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Boston Marathon Explosion Empowers Social Media


a-woman-is-comforted-after-two-explosions-rock-the-117th-boston-marathon-on-april-15Terrorism is defined as the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

Yesterday’s senseless bombing near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Patriots Day was an awful sight to behold as every TV channel looped the footage of the blasts.

Terrorism of this nature is the brand fingerprint of cowards. Weak-minded people who get a sense of power by hurting innocents. Cowards hide. Cowards choose soft targets. Cowards buckle as soon as retribution is pointed at them.

The bombings in Boston have reawakened an anger in Americans that will send the cowards back into the shadows. I am angry.

Unlike 9/11 when TV and telephone communication was all we had, yesterday’s Boston Marathon blasts sent the twittersphere into overdrive. Minutes after the explosions #prayforboston became a fire hose of condolences, prayers and comments. In four minutes, this morning, 106 tweets have poured through. Twitter’s video-sharing tool, Vine, experienced a major moment as news vehicle during the tragedy: A six-second video snipped from a TV news report that captured the first explosion quickly circulated online.

Social media instantly became a very public and personal place. Google set up its Person Finder page, a registry and message board that allows victims, family and friends to share information about their whereabouts and safety. Google created the app in response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

A search on Google for “Boston Marathon Explosion” yields 1,610,000,000 results.

According to AdAge “Twitter served as an information source as many brands went dark for several hours on social media in the wake of the tragedy.”

Social media may be the darling of marketing types as it should. More importantly social media has democratized communication while making shared information instantaneous. That’s good news for America and bad news for the cowards. We’ll find ’em.



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