The July Riots: An Inflection Point For digital Media – BusinessLIVE

The unrest that rocked SA in July will little doubt show to be a watershed in ways in which political scientists and economists will nonetheless analyse a long time from now. It additionally marks a big inflection level for digital media in SA, in a lot the identical approach because the London riots of 2011, which have been co-ordinated largely on BlackBerry Messenger, did for the UK.

To recap, as information streamed in about looting and rioting throughout Gauteng and

KwaZulu-Natal, it quickly grew to become obvious that a lot of the unrest was instigated and co-ordinated by way of messaging platforms reminiscent of WhatsApp. Many outstanding figures in SA’s political life cheered on the carnage from their Twitter and Instagram accounts; others, on goal or unknowingly, fanned the flames by spreading false information.

Similar to the police – who struggled to maintain forward of the actions of the looters as they went on the rampage throughout the 2 provinces – skilled media was caught flatfooted by the flood of misinformation and disinformation. The uncertainty, nervousness and panic that unfold throughout social media, together with the best way that digital instruments allowed the instigators to organise, performed a key position in one of the crucial violent uprisings in SA since 1994. 

The ramifications are manifold. The well-known quote “A lie can journey world wide and again once more whereas the reality remains to be lacing up its boots” resonates greater than ever. Whereas skilled journalists try to confirm the details earlier than submitting their experiences,

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