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Not a good time for Tweeters

September 5, 2011

In our quest for reliable information, it’s disappointing to keep finding that some Twitter users — those tweeting and those retweeting — often don’t understand their responsibility for getting it right. The premature reports of the death of Tampa Bay Buccaneers great Lee Roy Selmon this past weekend is a good example and an interesting case study (whether you follow sports or not). In advance of Tuesday’s lecture, check out these provocative reads, and let’s discuss.

1) The social media editor role expands to include fighting misinformation during breaking news:

2) There’s just one problem with Twitter: People are stupid. To wit:


2 Comments leave one →
  1. andrewfriedgen permalink
    September 5, 2011 8:56 pm

    Two bits here wrestled a chuckle from me–Khamis Gaddafi “dying eight or nine times” and the entertaining manipulation of NFLDraftInsider. As someone who has used Twitter casually for a while, it’s important to realize that not everyone that signs up for Twitter does so for its journalistic uses. A lot of people use it just to keep up on and tweet at their favorite musician. So when one of these people sees “proof” that water has overrun a subway, they retweet it because they just don’t know any better.
    As for the people who join Twitter to purport to act like “journalists,” the problem is that so many unqualified people can join and say they are a journalist–with no real skill check at all. Folks like “NFLDraftInsider” are abound in this social media free-for-all and I don’t see many viable solutions to contain the problem besides having a more educated and skeptical populace.

  2. September 8, 2011 12:44 pm

    Although this may have been accidental, before posting many people should think about what they are doing first. As many people use twitter just to keep up with their friends, they see news like this from others and assume in right. My advice to people is don’t post information that you’re not certain about or just don’t post that type of information at all. Someone’s life is no joke and NO ONE should be reporting someone dead until all fact are out and we are 100% positive of the information we are representing to others.

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