Why You Never Ask the Internet a Question

Why You Never Ask the Internet a Question

Scientists working for the United Kingdom’s National Environment Research Council (NERC) are justifiably proud of their 420-foot state-of-the-art Polar research ship. To build excitement among their fellow citizens, NERC held an online poll to name the new vessel. The internet’s answer, by a wide margin? Boaty McBoatface.

Bad things can happen when you ask the internet a question. […]

Countering Rumors: 3 Ways to Slow the Flow of False News in a Crisis

Countering Rumors: 3 Ways to Slow the Flow of False News in a Crisis

Monday is the 2014 Boston Marathon, and it’s a fair guess the event will have thousands more in-person spectators and millions more virtual observers after the tragedy of 2013’s race.

The sad part of all of the increased attention is that much of the information that will be spread about the race is likely to be false. […]

Tragedy at Lac-Megantic: Rail Chief’s Fundamental Failure

Tragedy at Lac-Megantic: Rail Chief’s Fundamental Failure

There’s been plenty of news coming out of a small town in Quebec after a train carrying nearly 80 tank cars full of crude oil derailed and immolated much of the town. Authorities believe 50 people died in the derailment, explosion and ensuing fires. As of this writing, only 38 bodies have been recovered and authorities fear some of those still missing may have been vaporized.The railroad, Montreal Maine & Atlantic, is owned by a Chicago-based holding company called Rail World. […]

Asiana 214: Crash Unfolds Across Social Media

Asiana 214: Crash Unfolds Across Social Media

I’ve written before about the importance of images when a crisis breaks. When Asiana Airlines 214 crash landed at San Francisco International Airport yesterday, it didn’t take long for social media, especially Twitter, to kick into high gear. One of the things that was very clear watching the information cascade was how quickly images of the event went viral. […]