Thursday, November 21, 2013

April Fool's Day is Every Day with Twitter

Marc Krauss

It is interesting to see the amount of false information being put out to the world through Twitter today. What is even more interesting is the amount of fake news that is perceived as real and therefore spread through the social media world for all to see. It appears today that more and more people are turning to Twitter to “break news.” But in their efforts to be he first and the fastest, they are forgetting one very important rule: accuracy. 

I can’t tell you how many times I have been on Twitter and came across a bogus “breaking news” story. Maybe I am following the wrong people, but even respected journalists and news organizations have been accused of it. It is becoming a large problem in social media. 

The emphasis for news being spread via social media should be on accuracy, not speed. Instead of being first, how about you get it right? Is it looked down upon in today’s society if you you take your time to come to conclusions and do your homework and get the news right? Is that not the sexy and impactful way to use the medium?

Well, I would rather be the last person to be right than the first person to wrong. Allowing yourself the time to do the homework with a story or case will undoubtedly allow you to get things right. Those who jump to judgement or those who are looking to be groundbreaking, often are the ones who are wrong.

Boston gathers at Fenway Park to remember those lost in the tragic Marathon bombing. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

How about the tragic Boston Marathon bombing that took place in April earlier this year? The only relevant news information I found via social media was that a bomb had actually exploded. After that, I didn’t know what or who to believe. There were stories about how many bombers, where they were, how many affected, etc., and most of them were completely wrong! 

This article explains how to avoid this issue the next time a large breaking news story takes place. The issue with Twitter and other social media is that it is so up-to-date. I mean, you can refresh your feed every 10 seconds to find new stories. Using Twitter for news issues doesn’t allow for all the facts to surface. Too often the real news is found by doing hours of research and studying. Social media platforms don’t conform to this kind of diligence.

Twitter is definitely a double-edged sword when it comes breaking news.

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