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Jimmy Leach

Jimmy Leach was once editorial director for digital for The Independent.

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Mumbai police asked that Twitterers keep quiet

Posted by Jimmy Leach
  • Thursday, 27 November 2008 at 11:21 am
As the news came out of Mumbai last night, the mainstream media was struggling for details.

Not for the first time, those on the ground were able to provide a series of reports, rumours, videos and pictures, which slowly fell together into a pretty harrowing jigsaw. Perhaps most startling are the pictures of  photographer Vinukumar Ranganathan receiving hundreds of thousands of visitors to his Flickr pages to show over 100 dramatic photos of the grim scenes.


Online encyclopedia sites including Wikipedia and Mahalo, as well as the citizen media aggregators NowPublic and GroundReport are being constantly updated with new information.


With the sheer scale and number of attacks making it difficult to find a coherent picture, many resorted to Twitter, and snippets of information about the attacks pinged from from mobile phones every second as people described the horrors around them, while a Google map sprang up with details of the attack site.


But one significant development in this citizen reporting was that, as noted by Lloyd, the Indian government asked that the live Twitter updates cease to prevent the perpetrators gaining operational information. A strange sort of tribute to the strength of an emerging media and it seems like a landmark, somehow, in its development.

 

Comments

rhodri wrote:
Thursday, 27 November 2008 at 12:00 pm (UTC)
That's astonishing.

But even more astonishing would be if people were actually able to control their understandable impulse to liveblog what's happening, and respect the government's request...
jleach wrote:
Thursday, 27 November 2008 at 01:16 pm (UTC)
Indeed. I'm strangely impressed that the police thought of it; doubtful as to whether anyone would listen, as you say - and also wondering if terrorists twitter...
torpidai wrote:
Thursday, 27 November 2008 at 01:29 pm (UTC)

terrorists? I'm rapidly going off that term, it's everywhere, blogs, TV, Political forums, All it does is show which side the "reporter" is writing on behalf of, and in an unjust war......

I believe the statement that sums it up best is "One mans terrorist is another mans Freedom fighter" the term Terrorist simply gets the authors side screaming for more blood, and the opposition screaming abuse, surely there could be a more tactful way of writing so we are not alienating either side and maybe Then we could have some sensible discussions with regards to "Where we go from here" as opposed to the muck flinging slagging matches bordering on racial abuse(From both parties) as seen in most blogs and news websites allowing replies to such emotive topics?

Just a suggestion, I'm dumb as a box of rocks, but have learned to read, take a deep breath, and Think before hitting the 'Send abuse' button.
jleach wrote:
Thursday, 27 November 2008 at 01:40 pm (UTC)
Fair point. I deliberately used perpetrators in the original post and then slipped into slack shorthand in the comment. Apologies.
torpidai wrote:
Thursday, 27 November 2008 at 02:08 pm (UTC)

hehe sorry I did miss out the obligatory (TIC) in that reply. Your blog, you "Tell it as you wish", It's just I read so many blogs and news stories and as English is my only language, all I'm reading is, Well like a Bush satire clip Terrorists, Terrorists, Terrorists. To my mind it leaves no ground for say potential sympathisers of the west to reply so we may all hear "the other side" if you will.
They are terrorists
bogoas81 wrote:
Thursday, 27 November 2008 at 04:25 pm (UTC)
Your concern with "not alienating either side" is morally repugnant. On "one side" there were unarmed civilians staying in a hotel, or trying to catch a train at a railway station, or being treated at a hospital, or eating at a restaurant. On the "other side" there was a group of men trying to murder and maim as many of these unarmed civilians as possible before inevitably being gunned downed themselves. The reason they chose such high profile targets was - yes - to terrorise, to create as great a spectacle of terror as possible. The terrorists - I do not feel awkward using the term - cannot make war on India. They stand no chance of defeating India or bringing it down. But they can terrorise its civilians, and hope to make them live in fear through the brutality and utter randomness (in terms of the choice of victims as individuals) of the attacks. This is why the word terrorists is perfectly fitting. Shame on you.
Re: They are terrorists
cocucka wrote:
Thursday, 27 November 2008 at 07:39 pm (UTC)
Exactly !
Re: They are terrorists
torpidai wrote:
Thursday, 27 November 2008 at 08:54 pm (UTC)
Your concern with "not alienating either side" is morally repugnant.

The idea that you believe you can "bring shame on me" for not following your very one sided view of any story I believe tells more about you than you think. How long before you start screaming "He's a Witch" in order that my views be silenced because they simply do not fit in with your ideals?

The terrorists - I do not feel awkward using the term - cannot make war on India. They stand no chance of defeating India or bringing it down. But they can terrorise its civilians,

Surely then one must ask "Why such a group would be doing this"? Oh, no need, you've told me they are Terrorists, and Terrorists need no reason to be so obviously giving up their lives to cause a panic do they? What's so wrong with hearing what they do have to say, youve told us all that they are Terrorists so that's signed their death warrant, would allowing the world to hear "why", in their own words be such a great problem? Hell I was given 2 ears and one mouth, I had always assumed they were to be used in proportion.

I wonder why you fear the concept of allowing the public to hear both sides of a story and any open debate, would that upset that nice cozy "Government approved news only" world of yours? I'll bet that hearing that Christianity isn't the peaceful religion that's been sold to us for so many years would upset your apple cart too hu?

So much for Unbiased the news coverage, I'd pinned my hopes on, Independent Minds? pfft, I've seen more Independence from "The Appeals Service", Which claims to be independent, yet too, is funded by one side;)

Re: They are terrorists
rhodri wrote:
Friday, 28 November 2008 at 07:47 am (UTC)
Here, you seem to be confusing news coverage with a comment made by bogoas81, a reader, on a blog.

Unlike readers of certain British newspapers, I'd say that Independent readers are far more likely to appreciate that the actions taken in Mumbai are based on some kind of reasoning, rather than random actions. But that doesn't mean that they have to display sympathy and understanding; that's not being biased, or having a closed mind, or being afraid of the other side of the story - it's an understandable human response to reading about people being gunned down for merely being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

If you want to see proper frothing at the mouth, cast an eye over the comments section at the Mail.
Re: They are terrorists
torpidai wrote:
Friday, 28 November 2008 at 04:48 pm (UTC)
Here, you seem to be confusing news coverage with a comment made by bogoas81, a reader, on a blog.

No, that reply was to the lj user, not the newspaper. the number of people replying to news articls showing the lack of vocabulary when it comes to violence we can't comprehend.... well.

The replies to that Daily Snail article you included were quite mild in comparison to, I believe it was the Times or Telegraph, last week, from 15 comments to an article on Afganistan 13 were after more blood, then when I posted suggesting if the war realy wasn't being perpetuated for reasons unknown, surely by now it should be over, the west has the technology, the communications ability and the air force, yet it's claimed it's still nowhere near over? needless to say, My comment was not listed, I must learn to scream for more blood.

it's an understandable human response to reading about people being gunned down for merely being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Doctors in the west Kill more people through needless procedures per day than road accidents and cancer combined, Where's the uproar there? or for the starving in Africa, or one of the many other wars going on in countries most won't have heard of? The British government is going to allow many elderly and sick to die of hyperthermia again this year because of their choice to eat rather than heat, Am I to assume that these problems are just "Too close to home"?

it's an understandable human response

Only because we have been conditioned more than Pavlovs' Dogs, to react to the right stimulus, considering that they Died of Mental breakdown may also explain the high rates of Mental illness in this country too.
neilfranklin wrote:
Thursday, 27 November 2008 at 04:16 pm (UTC)
Also suprising that the Mumbai police were savvy enough to know that Twitter was a threat to their ops. Very significant day for social media tools, and Twitter doubters in general.
Twitter
pucini wrote:
Friday, 28 November 2008 at 08:34 am (UTC)
I am a 'Twitterer' and understand why someone would want to use the system if they were one of those trapped in a hotel room.

Surely one would have an over riding urge to make contact with the outside world, the need of any sort of 'normality', would help to ease the tension.


As for the terrorists, when is the world going to wake up & join up the dots ?
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