Two weeks ago Brian Williams was the 23rd most trusted person in the country and NBC Nightly News was drawing in 9.3 million viewers a night. That has all drastically changed since it was unveiled that Williams lied about his role in a 2003 helicopter incident in Iraq.
A clip from the broadcast that included Williams’ story was posted to the NBC Nightly News Facebook page a few days after the show aired and things quickly went south. Lance Reynolds, who was on board the helicopter that was actually shot down, commented on the video and disputed Williams’ account of the event. Williams quickly became a trending topic as users started the hashtag #BrianWilliamsRemembers to mock the anchor for ‘misremembering.’
Williams’ has since been suspended for six months without pay. Would this have gone unnoticed if the video hadn’t been posed to Facebook? After the scandal broke it quickly came to light that this was not the first time Williams’ had exaggerated and/or altered his account of the event. However, this time it was posted to social media and was provided a platform for the truth to come out. This begs the question, is social media making us more accountable?