LinkedIn, Facebook as reporting tool

I see three questions on LinkedIn from journalists trying to cast a wide net for stories: this about mortgages, this one about Michael Moore and this one about using LinkedIn. I know of many examples of reporters using Facebook to quickly gather information, including reporters gathering information about a young man injured in Spain and separately about high school students protesting a "transparent backpack" rule. What guidelines can you think of that will help reporters successfully navigate the world of social networks?

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