Hurricane Sandy proved that in a crisis, social media can be both a comfort and a valuable tool ... when it's not helping spread lies and fake photos.
Those affected by the devastating storm took to social media to let their friends and loved ones know their status and document their experiences. At one point, users were posting 10 Sandy-related Instagram pictures every second.
At the same time, fake photos began to make the rounds. A little annoying, maybe, to see some of the same photos that circulated during Hurricane Irene (that shark really gets around!), but basically harmless.
More disturbingly, some users, like Shashank Tripathi, the Wall Street analyst who knowingly Tweeted false information, like that Con Edison was shutting down power and that the New York Stock Exchange's trading floor was flooded, seemed to delight in creating even more panic. There may be a price to pay for tragedy trolling, however: it's being reported that Tripathi could face prosecution.
Get the scoop in this week's edition of Freshwire's "60 Seconds of Social Media" below. Plus, though it wasn't the only offender, American Apparel's widely panned Sandy-related marketing push makes us wonder if brands will ever learn.
And you can catch up on Twitter and television ratings with last week's episode here.
Follow Shawn Amos on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ShawnAmos