I followed up the news and comments of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in past 20 days. It already became a routine for me to check on the latest updates of MH370 via the social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and some other blogs.
It is not a surprise to me that I could find ‘tweets’ hash tagged with MH370 on Twitter appearing almost every two seconds. Netizens are constantly engaging in the social platforms by sharing articles and expressing their sentiments about the missing flight MH370. From this experience, it awes me that social media can be as powerful as the traditional television and radio news. However, whatever was posted on the social platforms may not be the truth as it might contain speculations. It is important for one to be able to distinguish a reliable source of news from the speculations.
Significant events are always coupled with myths, MH370 is not an exception as well. Before the rise of social media, myths is communicated through word of mouth among people.
Information technology and the social platform are not the roots of speculations but rather the amplifier of the rapidly spreaded speculations. Vice versa, speculations can also be uncovered by social media with the truths.
The use of powerful social media should be encouraged and adopted by the public relations (PR) practitioners. Thus, building and supporting better relationships with the public and stakeholders. In the current PR 2.0 society, the focus should not only be solely on journalists, but also the hundreds of millions of netizens. As PR practitioners, their active and sincere interactions with the public will benefit the organizations in the long run.