There is a power to search that as a marketer we leverage to bring our organization interest, traffic, etc. but that doesn’t mean it’s always being leveraged in the name of “good” or fair competition. Tonight (Eastern time), Wednesday, November 26th, there is a major terrorist attack happening in Mumbai, India, with scores of people dead and perhaps over 150 people still being held hostage.
On Twitter, there is already a #Mumbai search page with the vast majority of tweets reflecting people’s concernes about the citizens of Mumbai. Then there are tweets from people attempting to relate news of developments in the situation as well as acutal citizens of Mumbai twittering whatever facts that they know about. There are also those people who are expressing alarm over the fact that terrorists or their supporters are following the #Mumbai search page in order to gather intelligence and thereby create more mayhem. It’s entirely possible that there are terrorists using Twitter if there are people in Mumbai liveblogging events going on there.
Concerned twitterers have requested that Twitter pull down the search page in order to achieve a level of “radio silence” until the event is resolved. One might wonder how actual actionable logistics would make it through the media to Twitter but it’s possible as well, considering that India is third world country (despite its “emerging” status) and it lacks a lot of basic government controls and procedures.
We are fortunate to live in a world where we have such ready access to such amazing communication technology, but there’s a level of common sense that should be employed when dealing with such subjects. One’s “freedom to tweet” shouldn’t endanger others but also, it’s ironic that extremists could use a system to achieve their goals yet they would forbid such a system if they ever came to power. Power is the keyword here because that’s what extremists are looking to destroy or control.