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Social Media on SM Megamall Robbery Incident

SM Megamall Robbery

SM Megamall Robbery

I was working online at home while the SM Megamall robbery incident happened earlier tonight, January 26, at about 7:30 pm. In less than hour, a lot of articles from the websites of the known broadcast agencies were published.

Some of the reports’ information were gathered from social media accounts of government agencies including statements from Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos and SM Supermalls president Ms. Annie Garcia, among others.
from MandaluyongIPO

from MandaluyongIPO

Aside from the peculiarity of the incident happening at a very open and public jewelry counter, what caught my attention more was how fast social media was able to deliver the news in real-time and became an instrument to spread the ongoing crime; and thus prevented the informed public from going to the reported dangerous area.

If you were on your way there and saw the tweets and FB status, wouldn’t you appreciate knowing that ahead of time?

As mentioned above, I myself was informed through Twitter and my Facebook news feed even without opening the television (TV). Here are some of the screen shots from the world of social media of different sectors including the government, SM Supermalls itself via @SMSupermalls, media outfits (https://twitter.com/gmanews/status/295148715398803457), and even blogs.
SM Megamall Robbery on Facebook

SM Megamall Robbery on Facebook

SM Megamall Robbery on Twitter Photos

SM Megamall Robbery on Twitter Photos

SM Megamall Robbery on Rappler

SM Megamall Robbery on Rappler

SM Megamall Robbery on Facebook Photos

SM Megamall Robbery on Facebook Photos

SM Megamall Jewelry Robbery

SM Megamall Jewelry Robbery

from @SMSupermalls

from @SMSupermalls

These are the times you would appreciate that SM Supermalls have their official Twitter accounts – during a time when you want to get valid information straight from the source, and not just hearsay.

There were alleged gunshots, suspects in cosplay costumes, robbers in masks, use of hammer or pipe-wrench, and the likes. While these are yet to be verified, this reminds as netizens to be responsible in what we say or publish in our accounts because even if we are just individuals, we can be a source of valuable information. And if we publish wrong information online about such incidents like the SM Megamall robbery case, it could snowball and can even cause bigger harm.

Here is the official statement from SM Supermalls:

“SM Management deeply regrets the robbery incident at a jewelry encounter inside SM Department Store of SM Megamall at 7:26 pm on Saturday, January 26, 2013. Initial reports indicate that the group responsible is the ‘Martilyo Gang.’ They pounded the jewelry fixtures, broke the glass and stole an undetermined amount of jewelry before escaping. A gunshot was reportedly fired at the ceiling but no one was hurt. We would like to assure the public that the management has further beefed up security. We apologized for the scare that the incident may have caused,” says SM Spokesperson Ian Mathay.

Let us continue to be vigilant with our use of social media and at the same time be responsible with the information we distribute as citizen journalists. It can save or destroy lives.

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