Lately I’ve been getting annoyed with something on Twitter. Don’t get me wrong, I love Twitter, I’m absolutely addicted to it. But I do have a problem with how some people use it.
Twitter has recently emerged as a primary source for breaking news, more so at this point than most traditional mediums. The instantaneous nature of Twitter makes it easy to instantly spread immediate occurrences and events. Unfortunately it also makes it (too) easy to spread rumors and irrelevant information. Some random guy with a computer and an internet connection posts that Jeff Goldblum is dead and it’s instantly all over the web, with users retweeting left and right, without a hint of confirmation from a reputable source. Apparently being the first to break the news is more important than the veracity of it.
Here’s another example of this phenomenon: today I came across an article on Twitter called “10 Reasons IT Should Not Support the Apple iPhone”. I was outraged that an article like this would come out at this point and immediately started reading it. I was expecting some ignorant biased review from a Microsoft fanatic that had never even used an iPhone but still felt threatened by it. Here is what I found: “The iPhone Does Not Natively Support Push Corporate E-mail or Wireless Calendar Syncing” What? “The iPhone Does Not Run Third-Party Applications Without Voiding Its Warranty” Excuse me? Then I noticed that the article is from 2007. At this point it’s completely irrelevant and outdated yet people are retweeting it like it’s something new.
Unfortunately I don’t think there’s anything Twitter can do about it, we’ll just have to trust people’s good sense and hope they’ll learn to exercise some judgement before retweeting something. Yeah, we’re basically doomed.