Author Surname: Weeks
Author First Name: Carly
Publication Date: March 12011
Publisher: Globe and Mail.
Tags & Keywords: Social collective action;
Retrieved from: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/ontario/hospital-confronts-social-media-uprising-over-care-of-dying-baby/article1925978/
London Health Sciences Centre has been forced to break their privacy regulations due to the social media. The hospital claims that misinformation about the situation has been circulated through various social networking sites. This has resulted in the hospital having to launch a public campaign in order to “correct the enormous amount of false and misleading information about [the baby’s] condition and ongoing treatment.” This case demonstrates how collective action can cause concerns for organizations.
[Technology is lowering boundaries for collective action which is not always a good thing. Students should be educated on "attention, participation, collaboration, crap detection, and network literacies" prior to going on the internet to find information. The most damaging thing about "cutting your student/children loose on the internet without any education is they will not be able to distinguish bull*#*! from accurate information"(Rehingold).]
I agree with Rehingold that collective action is not always a good thing. People should be diligent in researching the information especially if a person or organization's reputation is at stake. If information is not validated then leave it alone until confirmed. If people validated the claims, maybe this particular situation would of not escalated to this point. The hospital is forced to support their decisions to the general public which is breaking the patient-privacy rule. They have no choice as according to the media, the hospital is receiving threats based on misleading information from social media sites (Globe and Mail, Metro, and Windsor Star).
This is a sensitive case and supporters, family and friends of the baby are thinking emotionally and not understanding that the hospital has to operate within their regulations. Weeks did an excellent job in conveying the hospitals side of the story without being insensitive to the baby's family.
This case demonstrates the need for organizations to create a social media strategy and/or policy. The policy should include contingency's to address negative social media attention.
Posadzki, A. ( 2011, February 27). Parents of Baby Joseph launching appeal. Metro RSS. The Canadian Press. Retrieved from: http://www.metronews.ca/toronto/canada/article/786604--parents-of-baby-joseph-launching-appeal
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Rehingold, H. (2009) Howard Rehingold, Author, Smart Mobs. YouTube. Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3sfD6H7GfI
Wikipedia. Collective Action. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collective_action