Recent events in the US have highlighted the viral power of Social Media and the capacity that Twitter and Facebook have for fuelling our tension and emotions as a global community.

Ashlee talks about the public and worldwide farewell of Robin Williams in her latest blog ‘The power of the media following a great loss‘. I know I found out about Robin Williams’ death via Twitter, and in the following days many people took to social media to express their sadness and to share their favourite memories of the man. This certainly made me realise and appreciate just how much I enjoyed his films and his wacky style of humour.

Also in the news recently has been the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri where protests, riots and civil unrest have followed the police shooting of an 18 year old unarmed African American man. This article very interestingly discusses the role Twitter and social media has played in fuelling emotions and tensions in the wake of this event.

“Social media was the kerosene that turned fire in Ferguson into a national blaze. What it’s less likely to be: the extinguisher.”

“Social networks like Twitter highlight tensions in the moment rather than calm them, with tweets and photos detailing the scene as things unfold in real time.”

“The decentralized, free-for-all platforms and an already chaotic situation have fused to create an environment that spotlights startling developments over measured action or solutions, experts note.”

“It’s the digital incarnate of the old news adage: If it bleeds it leads.”

All of this goes to show that the events or news that have a greater presence in social media and in the media are the events that we respond to emotionally.