But a new Microsoft research paper, "The New War Correspondents: The Rise of Civic Media Curation in Urban Warfare," shares how influential citizen-journalists are freely, and rapidly, sharing unflinching reports through Twitter.
The social media platform is both liberating and protecting a group of individuals who share and assimilate information across dangerous areas.
Via email, Mashable talked with @BalaceraMTY , one of the anonymous reporters who, after two years of reporting from Monterrey, has gained 63,000 followers.
"It all started on Twitter while I was looking for information on how to protect my relatives and myself, considering how violent the region had gotten at that point. It was vital to be properly informed of such dangerous circumstances. At the same time, I started commenting on the information I was gathering. I never thought my number of followers would grow the way it did. What do I get in return? Nothing economically, it’s not about that. It’s really just the satisfaction of being able to help, the idea of doing something so things can eventually get better."