Surveillance Through Hashtags

Primary Materials:

Twitter is a social networking website that can be very beneficial for many reasons. It can be used for communicating with friends or communicating with the whole world. My main primary source is going to be Twitter; since Twitter is part of my topic I will be using it in order to gather information for my research. Twitter has a Twitter Discover Page , and on that page there is a search bar, by typing key words into that search bar you can valuable information in seconds. The discover page on twitter is a very reliable news source and is one of the fastest way to gather information.

When I first began to research this topic I was amazed at the results I found. To me twitter was just a silly website used by my peers and celebrities to share what was going on in their lives, but I soon found out that was not its only use. Twitter can be used to find information on medical resources. I will be researching this by typing in #MedicalBreakthrough on the discover page; by typing that in I now have access to many doctors and physicians medical reports. For example a tweet by Kathy Muldson sources OregonLive.com by tweeting a link to the site along with a tweet that says Scientist Create see- through mouse brain. This tweet tells us the location and who discovered the breakthrough. This is a quick and easy way to see what is going on in the medical field not just here in the United States but all over the world.

While researching my topic I found that twitter has been used to fight crime. There have been many cases of business owner posting surveillance footage of a robbery on their twitter page; people can identify the thief and turn them into the authorities. In my research I found that the Oregon Police Department turned to social media in order to help find criminal. They created a facebook account and twitter account they quickly gained many followers; the social media sites helped to convict eight criminals by posting photos and surveillance videos. This fascinated me. Today social networking cites have more purposes then people could ever have imagined. Crime fighting on twitter is definitely going to be a main focus in my research. This could be categorized as breaking news. Breaking news can be as simple as a local robbery or a much more serious event such as school shooting. These events can be discovered by going to the discover page and typing in#Breakingnews. The audience that can be reached by twitter is one of the most effective ways to reach the most people in the quickest amount of time.

So What:

My topic is important to all Twitter users. Twitter can be use for much more than just keeping up with the celebrity gossip; it has many uses. For example the Oregon newspaper The Blade published an article “Oregon residents helping to Solve Crime through Social Media” on a local store using Twitter to catch thieves. They created a Twitter page and posted the surveillance video. Followers of the account were able to recognize the man. Mark Bowles published an article “Authorities Use Social-Networking Sites as a Tool"about more and more local businesses will begin to use social networking as a way to catch criminals. According to Bowles even the professionals, firefighter and police officers, are using twitter to find out information. Twitter can also be used for amber alerts. Large communities of people use the website; Amber alert tweets can contain a picture of the missing child and information on what to do if you see the child. I was not aware of all the helpful availabilities twitter has before beginning my research. Twitter users should be more aware of these features.

The article “Should Journalists Use Twitter?” is discussion between professionals trying to decide if journalism majors should be able to use twitter as a source. Today journalism and mass media majors have to make twitters in order to communicate with people. My brother is a Mass Media communication major at Valdosta State University. He said he would never get a twitter because he thought they were pointless. This year he was told he had to make one; he soon realized all the doors twitter could open. He told me that the use of hashtags on twitter is becoming one of the fastest, best ways to communicate with people on a topic. Using hashtags on twitter spread news quickly and provides all users with the information they need to be informed on with important topics. Twitter is the fastest growing news source.

Hashtags on twitter are more important than people realize. The use of these allows twitter users to be part of a bigger audience than ever before. They can be used for serious things like spreading news or fight crime, but they also be used to be funny or communicate with friend. Either way they are used they help spread ideas and knowledge to thousands of people at a time in a way that is faster than ever before.

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