Monday was marked “Public Outrage Day” as over 10,000 Hungarians took to the streets in protest.

Yesterday, November 17, multitudes of Hungarians gathered in Budapest in order to protest governmental corruption under Prime Minister Viktor Orban, over issues regarding a scandal that led to Hungary’s head tax authority receiving a travel ban from the United States. Tensions between Hungary and both the U.S. and E.U. have been increasingly on the rise, and the protest was largely centered around what Hungarians see as Prime Minister Orban’s authoritarian rule.

The day has been labeled Public Outrage Day by the Hungarian people.The protests involved thousands of people refusing to leave a parliament square, taking down metal barricades, and pushing against riot police forces.

A quick search of “Public Outrage Day” on Twitter interestingly reveals the nature of social media reportage and journalism.

Twitter search of "Public Outrage Day" screenshot taken November 18, 2014 at 6:57 PM

Twitter search of “Public Outrage Day” screenshot taken November 18, 2014 at 6:57 PM

Tweets from people with their opinions regarding the protests and photos uploaded from mobile users are indeed part of the stream. Many of the tweets are mostly comprised of individual Tweeters sharing links to articles official news websites to their followers.

It is also very important to note that Twitter has a curated section of news that gets classified as a “Top news story.” These stories get a headline, teaser, thumbnail image, and direct link to a popular news story on the subject of Public Outrage Day.

When a news article gets the “top news story” label, it receives verification from established systems like Twitter that a website is a reliable and accurate source of information. In a post-Gutenberg era of publishing, the Internet has become more and more saturated with content — so how does Twitter decide which sites get this confirmed seal of approval?

It appears that these news articles are the ones that are the most popular/most viewed – but they also seem to come from legitimized journalistic sources – at least the ones surrounding they key search words “Public Outrage Day” seem to reflect that. It is extremely liberating that the very nature of Twitter promotes crowd-sourcing of content and allowing audience members and readers to become producers and spreaders themselves of information. On the flip side, it is also critical that traditional content producers of information (i.e. news organizations) do not get diminished or muted; these “official” journalists and editors follow standards of quality and curation when it comes to information that individual folks on the Internet do not necessarily feel compelled to subscribe to.

Featured image courtesy of Flickr user Moyan Brenn 


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