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Dealing with fallout from social media

Training firm Videotel promises simple solutions against inappropriate use by shipboard personnel

Published Tue, Aug 5, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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A COUPLE of years ago, I was in charge of a vessel taking young people on a sea experience trip. To my surprise, the first thing that happened was that they were all required to hand in their mobile phones.

Initially, I thought this was rather heavy-handed. On asking why this had been done, however, I started to realise not only that it had been a wise move but that what we have come to know as "social media" has big implications for the wider shipping industry.

Returning to the young cadets who were asked to hand in their mobiles, the organisation involved had had a fatal accident involving a youngster a short time previously. Of course, as soon as the accident had happened, his friends had used their mobiles to let their parents and friends know and within minutes garbled unverified reports were circulating. Worse still, the organisation was forced to move flat out to contact the cadet's parents before they learnt the dreadful news from another source.

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