July 27, 2011

Twitter Doesn't Always Get It Right

This afternoon there was a breaking story on Twitter about a hostage situation in the Flatiron District. My feed quickly began to fill up with rumors about what was going on. People were saying "Why aren't any real news sites reporting on this?" Well because they are trying to get the facts straight.

Allison Kilkenny said it is difficult being a journalist on Twitter because you want to break the story first but you also need to report the correct story. It is so difficult to retract a story on Twitter since news flies so fast so it's best to have your facts straight before reporting on anything. That's why most major news outlets weren't reporting on it yet. Only the New York Post decide to run the story. I guess they needed the page views.

Eventually it turned out it was just a crazy old man in his apartment. Argo Tea had to go on Twitter and say that there was no situation in their store and that it was safe. A story like this can cost a company business. Yes, we want our news right away but there can be a cost to misinformation.

I am what you call a Twitter addict (well it's partly my job) but Twitter is made up of people giving their opinion of the facts and they aren't always right (i.e. celebrity death hoax stories). This is a case where Twitter didn't get it right... at least right away.

How much do you trust "breaking news" on Twitter?

Image Source


  1. I like when I see the headlines on twitter, but if it something I want to make sure is true I always check some where else online unless I see the tweet is from CNN or something like that.

  2. The news on twitter is what gets me to investigate further. I don't expect 140 characters to get me the whole story but it's like having someone walking by saying to me, "hey, did you hear?"
    :) f
    The House in the Clouds

  3. I agree w/ Fabienne it's more like hearsay until I read it on a more reliable news source.


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