When the Exxon Valdez spill happened in 1989, the internet wasn’t really part of the story. We waited for the radio, the TV news and the newspapers to tell us what was going on. They got information, edited it, and presented what they felt we needed to know. But it’s different with the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Online, you can find all manner of news reports, rumors, speculation, and opinion. Even video. It’s pretty hard to make sense of it all and find out what the heck is actually happening. We speak to Lt. Commander Jim Hoeft who handles online communications for Deepwater Horizon Unified Command, an umbrella organization supported by BP and several government groups. We also check in with Jay Walsh of Wikipedia who tells us how the very dynamic Wikipedia page on this crisis is being updated and verified.
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