PaintSquare.com
      | Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise
  

 

Download our free e-book! Quality Control

Rules of Engagement

By Pamela Simmons
| More

Back to main blog page

About the Blogger

Pamela Simmons

Rules of Engagement by Pamela Simmons

As Director of Marketing at Technology Publishing Company (publisher of PaintSquare, JPCL and Durability + Design), I’m here to share my thoughts about marketing, social media, and how the digital revolution impacts the protective and marine coatings industry and the world in general.

Blog Archives

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Surreal Game of Cops and Bloggers

As I write this, a hostage situation is playing out in downtown Pittsburgh. A man by the name of Klein Michael Thaxton is holding a hostage on the 16th floor of a building. He is armed and has two duffle bags with him, the contents of which are not known.

 Klein Michael Thaxton

 wpxi.com

Hostage situations are never a good thing, but what makes this one different is that while Thaxton is holed up, he’s updating his Facebook page. I’ve written before about social media saving lives, but this is the first case I can remember where a criminal is using social media to communicate with the outside world.

 Gateway hostage situation

 facebook.com

We’ve all seen real-life situations on the news and many a detective show where hostage negotiation involved just two parties: the hostage taker and the authorities. Not now. Not in 2012. Now the dialogue is between Thaxton and virtually anyone who wants to play hostage negotiator. And that’s getting in the way of the authorities.

 Gateway hostage situation

 twitter.com

It’s not just civilians who are using technology to throw their hats in the ring and potentially influence the outcome of volatile situations like this one. It’s the media, as well. WPXI, the local NBC affiliate, was asked to remove the live stream of the drama from its website. The station complied.

From Spectator to Player

Not only does social media allow us to live other people’s dramas in real time, but we can even become part of the drama itself. Nobody knows what could set this guy off, and anyone and everyone has access to him, courtesy of Facebook.

Authorities asked people not to correspond with Thaxton, and Twitter was ablaze with threats of criminal charges brought against those who do, all under the hashtag #gatewayhostage. Thaxton’s Facebook page was eventually blocked, but not before hours and hours of views and exchanges.

 Gateway hostage situation

 facebook.com

Five long hours later, this situation was resolved peacefully. After a visit from Thaxton’s girlfriend, he emerged from the building in handcuffs with no casualties on his conscience. He released his hostage unharmed.

Sadly in these times, this is just another of too many hostage situations, but Thaxton just showed us that the conversation isn’t private anymore. Any Tom, Dick or Harry can jump into the pool and, at present,  the police can’t do much more than request that they get back out.

Social media has taken that very private access out of the hands of the law and plopped it squarely into the lap of John Q. Public.

Social media is etching itself into our lives more and more all the time, and as one person tweeted today, “Thaxton just showed us that no one can last more than an hour without checking their Facebook.”




More items for Health & Safety
   

Tagged categories: Criminal acts; Ethics; Facebook; Online tools; Social Media; Twitter

Comment from John Fauth, (9/24/2012, 8:56 AM)

Social media as a modern version of the telephone? Not by a long shot.


Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Bullard

The Next Generation
of Blasting

• Lightest
• Coolest
• Most Comfortable
• Most Dependable


Industrial Vacuum Equipment Corp.
Hurricane Vacuums
& Dust Collectors

Vacuum and dust collector hose, filters and related accessories.
IndustrialVacuum.com


Safway Services
Superior Suspended Access with QuikDeck®

Get improved platform stability with QuikDeck®. Open workspace designed for fast installation and safety. Easily moved to reduce cost. Safe to the environment.


Nationwide Overspray
Profession Overspray Removal Services

The Finest Name in Safe Overspray Removal. We specialize in removing all contaminants from any surface. Family Owned and Operated for 33 years! Fully insured. Satisfaction is guaranteed.


Clemco Industries Corp.
Powerful Protection in a Small Package

Mounts inside blast helmet, alerts operator to dangerous breathing-air condition by audible, visual, and vibratory alarms. Easily calibrated, battery operated.


HoldTight Solutions Inc.
NO FLASH RUST -
NO CONTAMINANTS

Our HoldTight®102 salt remover & flash rust preventer prevents flash rust by removing surface contaminants. It has no equal; only wannabees.
Contact us for your
nearest distributor.
(800) 319.8802 sales@holdtight.com


SEMicro Division, M.E. Taylor Engineering, Inc.
Coatings Adhesion Testers

The PATTI® accurately measures the bond strength between coating & substrate. Outfitted properly, the surface can be rough, porous, or curved & >10K psi strong!


KTA-Tator, Inc. - Corporate Office
KTA-Tator EH&S Services

• Ambient & Worker Exposure Air Monitoring
• Safety & Health Program Development
• Lead Paint Assessments
& Specifications
• Health Hazard & Jobsite Safety Assessments
Call 1-800-245-6379


Hempel (USA) Inc.
Hempel Protective Coatings

Wider range of Hempel coatings now meet NORSOKs exacting M-501 standard. Proven high performance to protect your assets. Contact us at protective@hempel.com to find out more.


Carboline Company
Fireproofing Solutions

Pyroclad® X1 Thermo-Lag® Pyrocrete® – protecting against hydrocarbon and jet fires, explosions, and cryogenic spills.

 
 
 
Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us
 

© Copyright 2000-2016, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail webmaster@paintsquare.com