Editorial: When Facebook fails you, turn to these sources – Loveland Reporter-Herald

The weather took out a tree outside of Blue Ribbon Auto Body near downtown Loveland on Wednesday, March 13, 2019.

The weather took out a tree outside of Blue Ribbon Auto Body near downtown Loveland on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. (Craig Young / Loveland Reporter-Herald)

On Wednesday, just as many people in Loveland wanted to turn to Reporter-Herald for the latest storm news, and as reporters and photographers worked hard to gather that news, we experienced problems in being able to connect that news with the people who wanted it.

The unusually bad spring storm snapped power lines, resulting in a loss of electricity in areas of Loveland, particularly downtown, reliant on overhead power lines.

Outages also hit many other places along the Front Range, including Berthoud, where the printing press that serves the Reporter-Herald and several other regional newspapers is located. That meant that even though staff had geared up to go to press early Wednesday night, we weren’t able to print a paper at all.

But, this being 2019, the internet can deliver that news to anyone with a connection. We made our digital replica and e-editions available to anyone, and of course our website is always available, although readers there will eventually face a paywall.

We tweeted throughout the day, trying to keep the community updated.

But, unfortunately, Facebook was experiencing problems around the world that kept many people, companies and other users from making posts at just the very time many in Colorado were turning to Facebook for the latest news.

We kept trying to share posts throughout the day, but they weren’t going through.

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It didn’t just affect the Reporter-Herald.

The city of Loveland, Larimer County and Rocky Mountain National Park also found themselves stymied in their attempts to share information by Facebook.

Indeed, Twitter reported that its top trending hashtag Wednesday was #FacebookDown, and even Facebook went on to Twitter to post: “We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.”

GeekWire reported: “By duration, this is by far the largest outage we have seen since the launch of Downdetector in 2012,” Tom Sanders, co-founder of Downdetector, said in a statement. “Our systems processed about 7.5 million problem reports from end users over the course of this incident. Never before have we such a large scale outage.”

Perhaps we needed a reminder that there are other ways besides Facebook to access information.

Want to check on Loveland news?

You can check our Facebook page at facebook.com/reporterherald, but we’re also online with our website at reporterherald.com, Twitter at twitter.com/reporterherald and Instagram at instagram.com/thereporterherald.

The city of Loveland reached out on Twitter Wednesday with alternate means to get city information that included its website at cityofloveland.org, Twitter account at twitter.com/CityofLoveland and Nextdoor account at nextdoor.com/agency-detail/co/loveland/city-of-loveland.

Loveland police also post at twitter.com/LPDtweets.

For Larimer County information, visit its website at larimer.org or Twitter at twitter.com/LarimerCounty. The county’s Office of Emergency Management also has a Twitter account at twitter.com/LarimerOEM that posted updates throughout the storm. It’s also active during forest fires and floods.

Thompson School District posts information on its website at thompsonschools.org and on Twitter at twitter.com/ThompsonR2J. School Superintendent Marc Schaffer posts on Twitter at twitter.com/tsdDrMarc.

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Rocky Mountain National Park, which was trying to get the word out about road closures during the storm, reached out on Twitter Wednesday to say: “We are unable to update our Facebook page at this time. See this Twitter feed ( twitter.com/RockyNPS), the park website ( nps.gov/romo) or call info hotline 9705861206.”

Good sources for road conditions are: twitter.com/CSP_Larimer, twitter.com/CSP_Weld or twitter.com/CSP_News.

Every reporter knows that you need to have multiple sources to get the best information.

Facebook is a great resource, just remember to not rely solely on it.


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