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Bottom-up Tracking the San Bernardino Shooting Using Twitter Instead of TV

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Originally Published on OpEdNews

This morning, I woke up wanting to know about what the story was with the San Bernardino shooting. My CNN app had floated a message that they had an article about the shooters. It wasn't very helpful. So I did as I usually do and went to Twitter.

I started looking at my twitter feed, which shows recent tweets from the close to 3100 people I follow. It didn't take much looking to figure out that #sanbernardino was the hashtab being used to cover/talk about the shooting. So I did a search for that hashtag.
I use twitter because it's a great, bottom-up way to see what many, many media are reporting. Twitter users become the the curators of the news, sharing and commenting on the reports, with links to the articles. Mainstream television tends to offer high rotation videos of the same footage over and over again, interspersed with usually worthless talking head experts, like a swat team expert who talks about how the police could have been more aggressive in their take-down of the shooters. Really? That's like sports coverage!! Great work CNN.
I used commonsSearch image, video and tweet search tool to find and insert the tweets in this article.
As I read the tweets in my hashtag #sanbernardino search I was looking for news about the shooting, about the shooters, about background on shootings and shooters and how different groups frame the shooting.
As I read the tweets I re-tweeted some of them.

One tweet I retweeted cited a BBC report which called the shooting, "Just another day in the USA."

Reading the tweets of right wingers, it became clear that they were thrilled and relieved the shooting was not done by another white Christian male loner. They were revelling in the opportunity to show their bigotry, with attacks on muslims as a group. This tweet captured the way the media feeds into this.

After a bit of scanning, I learned that:
  • 14 people were killed, 17 injured, some of the injured were injured in attempting to escape

  • the shooters were a husband and wife team-- Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik

  • this man and wife shooter combination is extremely rare--

  • any woman doing this is rare,

  • the man recently went to Saudi Arabia where he met his wife who he brought back (I'm not confident in this info. That's a risk when you read a lot of tweets, but MSM also get things wrong with breaking stories.)

  • the man was a US born citizen

  • the man worked as a health inspector and left the party apparently angry

  • they had explosive devices

  • they had four guns, two of them registered to the shooter.

  • they wore some kind of black outfits

  • the previous two items suggest this was well planned

  • the couple left their six month old child with the grandmother, telling her they had a doctor's appointment.

  • the rest of the world sees this kind of shooting as everyday and normal for the USA.

  • there was very little info online about the shooters-- that over 50,000 searches for the wife's name had been made on Facebook (which I found when I tried to do a search there.)

  • there was also a mass shooting in Savannah, the same day
  • Almost every time there's a mass shooting someone claims it's a false flag attack. So I looked for that and sure enough, Alex Jones didn't let me down.

    And While I was at it I also learned:

    The same article also reports that Donald Trump LOVES Alex Jones. Not surprising. Trump has turned out to be a huge conspiracy theorist.
    A lot of the tweets I retweeted were more background:

    This retweet reported that economist Piketty ties terrorism to income inequality.


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    Rob Kall is executive editor, publisher and website architect of, Host of the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show (WNJC 1360 AM), and publisher of, President of Futurehealth, Inc, and an inventor . He is also published regularly on the

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    With his experience as architect and founder of a technorati top 100 blog, he is also a new media / social media consultant and trainer for corporations, non-profits, entrepreneurs and authors.

    Rob is a frequent Speaker on the bottom-up revolution, politics, The art, science and power of story, heroes and the hero's journey and Positive Psychology. He is a campaign consultant specializing in tapping the power of stories for issue positioning, stump speeches and debates, and optimizing tapping the power of new media. Watch me speaking on Bottom up economics at the Occupy G8 Economic Summit, here.

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