Here’s a couple of social media sites that are providing actual information from Mumbai (as opposed to just repeating TV reports)
Mumbai Help — Is a blog that probably has provided some of the best on-the-ground coverage so far. Today it has put together a five-page list of dead and injured. It’s a horrific way to find out your loved one has been killed or is in a hospital, but it’s an appropriate statement on the horror of the attacks.
Dina Mehta — I’m not exactly sure who she is, but she has a social networking blog in Mumbai with some information. But her biggest contribution has been her Twitter page. Twitter has been very helpful in providing information on the attacks early on. But over time, the signal-to-noise ratio has made it difficult to determine who’s got first-hand information, and who’s just chatting. She’s one person who actually has good information, and in one section of her page she calls attention to an abundance of bad information on Twitter that has been rebroadcast by mainstream media, certainly a topic for another day.
Update 1:31 p.m. – Here’s a spreadsheet of the dead and injured.
Attention now is turning to who is responsible. The BBC says the siege represents a change in tactics, but by whom? Is Pakistan somehow responsible? Some are saying so, which is frightening since these long-time enemies both have nuclear weapons.
U.S. intelligence officials are said to be examining Pakistan’s role.
update 7:56 p.m. – One of the more intriguing rumors of the day was that Israel was sending a commando team to India. The Jerusalem Post, however, reports Israeli officials are denying the report, while at the same time letting India have it for the way it’s handled things. The New York Times, meanwhile, has the story of a Brooklyn rabbi who is apparently being held.
NDTV has the last interview with the head of the anti-terrorism unit, who was killed in the assault. He was responding to charges that the ATS used torture in investigating terrorism in India.
By the way, here’s an excellent article from France on how blogs and social media have covered the story.
update 8:29 p.m. – This blog in India has been looking at terrorism and, in particular, strategy.
8:30 p.m. – Like many people, I’m following the situation in Mumbai and blogs and Twitter have been quite helpful. Social networks have been invaluable in following news of this terror, but not until you figure out which two or three are actually doing citizen reporting, and which are just repeating what they’ve seen on TV or elsewhere.
Still, it’s a strange, strange feeling watching Twitter tonight. Between incredible posts from Mumbai, are many talking about people setting up tents outside Best Buys in advance of Friday’s shopping.
One thing worth thinking about and perhaps discussing is how this situation — described as India’s 9/11 — is followed compared to, say, 10 years ago. We’ve become accustomed to terrorism so we go about our business and catch up when we can. This evening I’m thinking about the Achille Lauro hijacking and the death of Leon Klinghoffer in 1985. And also the TWA 847 hijacking (also in 1985), during which John Testrake became a household word.
It was so different then, that people would be glued to the TV or radio. While this story has been of great interest worldwide, it’s had to compete — and not always successfully — with the silly and trivial.
One fairly wonders if a 9/11 were to happen in the U.S. again, how much different our reaction and attention to it might be, compared to 2001.
9:18 p.m. - Vinu has just posted new pictures of the assault.