Week in review: Social media and the Danzig St. shooting

Week in review: Social media on the Danzig St. shooting

Storified by J-Source · Fri, Jul 20 2012 14:17:31

Week in review: Social media on the Danzig St. shooting

Storified by J-Source · Fri, Jul 20 2012 14:17:31

I heard about Toronto’s Danzig St. shooting before I’d evengot out of bed on Tuesday morning. My iPhone often doubles as an alarm clock and as aresult, I find myself checking email and social media feeds before my feet evertouch the floor. Lest that day be an exception, as I came across a tweet thatmentioned the shooting.

Following the story throughout the day, there was a clear dividebetween the presentation of the story in the mainstream media versus that ofsocial media. And it is perhaps because of the rules that govern journalists differ from those of everyone else.

By now, you’ve probably read BitchslappedbyLogic’s redditcuration of the events, as told by Twitter. 

Mass shooting at party in Scarborough leaves one dead, many wounded. : canadareddit: the front page of the internet

The summary of events – in which the reddit user correctlyidentified the two fatalities and a number of other people who were shot – tooka different approach than that of mainstream organizations on Tuesday and inWednesday’s papers.

There was no lede, nut graph or attributions written out. Instead,BitchslappedByLogic laid out the quick and dirty of what he or she had foundthrough social media and other web research using links. For example:

Apparently, it was this guy’s party, as he says here. He’d been planning this party since July 7th.The pictures indicate that a ‘hennesey party’ is exactly what it sounds like: aparty w/ lots of hennesey liquor provided.

This guy apparentlyanticipated that problems might happen at the party. This girl, too. This guy too.So this could be the result of a pretty well-known beef.

Each of those links sends you to a tweet or Twitter profile thatspeaks to what BitchslappedByLogic referred to.

Media types from major outlets weighed in what this meant forjournalism. Some questioned the lack of fact-checking, while others noted thisis a new media way to gather information. 

Twitter, Reddit and the newsroom of the futureBy now, many people are becoming used to the idea that Twitter can be a source of breaking news, whether it’s a report about the death of…
The most fascinating report on the Scarborough shooting? On Reddit.Here’s the most riveting piece of journalism I’ve read in recent memory. It’s an account of last night’s shooting at a suburban block par…
Reddit User Scours Social Media for Info About Toronto ShootingAfter a shooting at a barbecue in eastern Toronto left two dead and 21 wounded, a Reddit user turned to Twitter to figure out all he coul…

But back to the part about different rules for journalists vs.redditors. Journalists have to use wording such as “alleged” and stick to reporting confirmed facts. Redditors — and others who comment online — don’t.

In its Storify curating the reaction to reddit’s take onthe shooting, OpenFile Toronto, citing the above sources, said that the freedomthat citizen social media writers have “allows posters tospeculate, and provide commentary that would leave traditional media outletsliable to accusation of unprofessionalism and inaccuracy.” 

Has the mainstream media been BitchslappedbyLogic?undefined

This sort of community commentary and emphasison the evolution of a story is kind of the point of reddit, after all. 

The Culture Of Reddit | Off Book | PBSpbsoffbook

To add context, the reddit story can be looked at next to the frontpages of the major newspapers on Wednesday (the shooting took place at about10:40 p.m. Monday night, not leaving much, if any, time for a detailed analysisbefore the daily papers hit the presses for Tuesday’s edition.)


After the reddit reporting began making waves on social media,journalists began reaching out to those that BitchslappedByLogic had pointedout. 

@Shenel_M15 Hi Shenel. I’m a reporter with the Toronto Star. Can we chat? 416-814-2725jayme poisson
But these requests were not always well-received.
These reporters needa stop mentioning me!! Like how da fuck did u find my page? This needs to get deactivated.
I wanna mention all these white people and reporters, tell dem to UNFOLLOW me. Fuckin FOSS fuckers just wanna see me tweet bout Monday.

OpenFile Toronto got a hold of BitchslappedByLogic. Though the redditor insisted on staying anonymous, he orshe addressed issues of privacy, of journalism and the future of social media. 

#IsThisJournalism? Feature Interview with BitchslappedByLogicLate Tuesday evening as mainstream media outlets rushed reporters to 193 Danzig St. in Scarborough-in the wake of the worst mass shooting…

Related: On the Toronto Star's now-infamous Danzig St. shooting cartoon