Hudsonville, MI (WZZM) - When there is a bomb threat and school lockdown like there was Tuesday in Hudsonville, Twitter, Facebook and other social media often add to the panic with incorrect or exaggerated information.
It's a problem pushing mainstream media to change long established policies against reporting and publicizing anonymous threats.
"In a digital era the rules have got to be rewritten," says Danielle Leek, Grand Valley State University Associate Professor of Communication. "The media, the press are the only organizations that can respond credibly to the type of innuendo and vague comments we see in social media."
In the past, editors and news directors would not report on bomb threats to avoid giving the caller attention and inspiring copy cats.