The Biggest Threat Of The Next Hurricane Season [Opinion]
Hurricane season always brings special challenges to Acadiana. What we do know is that when people are given good information they can make great choices about their own personal health and safety. When they are given bad information that is when tragedies occur. My biggest fear for the next hurricane that crosses the coastline in Acadiana is not wind nor water. It is the huge tidal wave of misinformation provided on social media sites.
Professional media outlets are not flawless. In fact sometimes we are just plain wrong. The difference is a professional media site will correct a mistake, if there is one, quickly and effectively. Misinformation on social media seems to live forever and is often perpetuated by well meaning contributors who have not bothered to seek validated and confirmed information.
The recent winter weather we saw in the area gave a small glimpse of what could happen if some jackwagon posts misinformation on a social media site. In this case it was a malicious attempt by someone attempting to get out of going to school. This caused professional media to scramble to discredit the wrong story and confirm the correct one.
Living through the aftermath of a major tropical system is tough enough. If you have been through a storm you know the struggles of where to find water, ice, assistance and other information. Imagine the public confusion and chaos of misinformation from social media concerning life saving commodities. It really is a scary thought.
I can promise you this, 97.3 The Dawg and our news department housed at NewsTalk 96.5 KPEL along with our media partners at KATC will bring you the latest confirmed and validated information in the event of any situation that might compromise your families safety. If you are not following us, KPEL or KATC on Facebook and Twitter I encourage you to do so. It is up to you to make sure you are getting your information from the most reliable sources out there.
Here's to hoping we won't see a storm over the summer months and my fears will never be realized. I do know that social media is a fun toy for sharing pictures, jokes and interesting stories. It could be used for the greater good. The bigger question is will it be used in that capacity during times of trouble or will it become a hot bed of shysters, jokers and well intentioned people who get their feelings hurt far too easily.