Better East Texas: Social media and hearsay

Better East Texas: Social media and hearsay

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - Social media strikes again in the fast-developing news surrounding the disappearance and murder of 10-year-old Kayla Gomez Orozco.

While the FBI and local investigators carried out their search of the area – reaching out to the community through local media, there was Facebook and other platforms helping spread the word. What a great use of social media. But as the search narrowed and accelerated, with the crime scene being identified, social media showed its under belly.

Posts started flying about a family member being arrested – posts that were not accurate as it was not the family member in the posts and no arrest had been made at that time. But we all have a need for immediate answers when something like this happens and social media makes answers – in this case wrong answers – easy to find.

Some local media outlets took the bait of using these inaccurate posts as fact only to have to walk back to the known facts and the truth later on. Our team even received some criticism for not using social media as the news source – but it was the right thing to do.

Unless official sources release information, it is reckless for media outlets to present gossip and hearsay as fact.

Just put yourself in a position of being named as a suspect – being wrongly accused – out in front of the viral pack that is social media. It is dangerous and destructive in that role. I am thankful this case appears to be solved but we need to all be aware of the pitfalls of believing anything and everything on social media.

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