In MJD219 recently, we were given the assignment to use Social Media to report on something that is happening in the world, and one of the things that we were told to utilize is our crowdsourcing tools. The thing that really interested me lately is the Westgate Mall bombings in Kenya. Much of the news has been taken over by this lately, and so it really caught my attention. My main way of finding out more about this subject was to first take to Twitter. Using the Twitter search tool, I searched #Westgate. This linked me to all of the posts where people were talking about Westgate and where they used hashtags to show what the post was relevant to. One of the posts that really caught my eye was this BBC article that talked about how the terrorists had rented a store out in the mall where they ended up hiding their weapons.
Using the link that I found on Twitter, I then clicked the link on the bottom to read more information, which lead me to this other BBC article, which goes further into detail about the Westgate bombings, such as how at the time there were over 60 people confirmed dead and another 61 people missing, just from one attack. The mall, according to someone who works at the mall, is barely recognizable because of the damage, and many of the goods, including jewelry, are missing. People could end up losing their jobs from this, simply because there is nowhere to work and so many goods have been taken.
Then, because Facebook does not yet support the option of searching through posts, I Facebook searched BBC World News, as they were the original posters of the articles that I had been reading about. I searched through many of their posts (they post many times a day about different topics) until I found something about the Westgate Mall bombings that interested me. The thing that I found was this Facebook post that was about a man, Ajay Patel, who had survived the bombings, and talked about his ordeal. He says that it was “like a war zone” as he describes the chaos of the whole situation.
All of the Twitter buzz and the Facebook posts about this have made me realize how huge an ordeal this is. I saw a post last week on Twitter, but I could not find the link. Instead, having read the article, I used what I remembered about the post to Google search it. The post talked about the terrorists telling young children that they are not monsters, which is what I ended up Googling (Westgate Bombers “we are not monsters”). I found this link from Fox News that talks about how the attackers freed the children and mothers (and even gave some kids chocolate bars) and said that they were only interested in killing Americans and Kenyans.
Using the information that I had gathered, I then posted a new status on Facebook. The status read:
This question is for a class. Serious responses would be much appreciated.
Did you follow the Westgate Mall bombings in Kenya as they were happening? If so, what was your reaction?
My status only generated one response: my father, John Gaudion, who said that he did not follow it exclusively but saw updates often on the news. I then asked my father if I could ask him a few questions, to which he responded, “Of course”.
I initially told my father that I had done a lot of research on the bombings in the last couple of days, and I asked him where he had heard information about the bombings. My dad said that he heard information from the news on the television, and when I asked if there were any more sources of his information, he said that not until a few days ago when he saw some YouTube videos.
I then attempted to show my father the video of Ajay Patel over Facebook. Unfortunately, because he was on his iPhone, the video would not play, so I explained the video to my father by telling him of what Ajay had said, and my father told me that that is what he had been hearing on the news, stories such as the story of Ajay Patel.
I then told my father about the article from BBC that said that the attackers had rented out a shop in the mall where they stored their ammunition and weapons, and my father said that he had not heard that yet and was very surprised that they had done that and not been caught.
Finally, I showed my father the article of the attackers saying that they are not monsters, and asked my dad if he agrees with that statement. My father told me that he very much disagreed with the statement, and that the men are indeed monsters, specifically because they said that they wanted to kill Americans, and my father had heard that some of the attackers ARE Americans. I agreed with my father, as I had heard that also. I then told my father that that concluded our interview, and thanked him for his time.
I hope you enjoyed reading what I found, thank you for your time.
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