Social Media Plays a Part in the Drug Wars
While media outlets have contributed to the worldwide coverage of the violence along the Mexican and American border, the social media platform is now contributing to sharing minute-by-minute coverage.
A CNN report revealed that citizens along the Texas border have turned to social media to share information as to the current violence, despite efforts on behalf of the cartels to limit the sharing of such information.
Places such as Reynosa, where gunbattles have been a regular occurrence, official confirmation of the violence took days. On Twitter, however, citizens were sharing reports of the brazen gunbattles throughout the city in near minute-by-minute fashion.
These individuals created Reynosafollow for those seeking information on the violence. A hashtag is used to narrow down tweets on a particular topic in the microblogging site.
Gabriel Regino, 40, a criminology professor at a university in Mexico City reported that they had a special interest in what happens in Mexico as a result of crime. He was an active participant on the trending Reynosafollow topic when gunbattles first began on February 25.
"I'm convinced that a well-informed society takes better actions," Regino said. "I was surprised to see how successful Twitter was in the use of the 'Green Revolution' [Green Movement in Iran], so in 2010, I began using Twitter."
Local authorities are accused of not doing enough to stop or even prevent the bloodshed. In part of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, where fighting between Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel has flared in the past two weeks as two cartels are fighting over control of the area. The offensive launched has terrorized residents.