This TechCrunch article certainly had me thinking about the Twitter-sphere. I’ve also been watching a lot of Sorkin’s Newsroom over the past few weeks. From the article:
Most objectively, being too quick to retweet can spread inaccurate information. Just today with with the Asiana plane crash at San Francisco airport, an eyewitness said she thought the plane rolled, which would likely have made injuries much more severe. No one can confirm that it rolled, though, and the wings remain attached, yet that info had already been retweeted hundreds or thousands of times. In Newtown, a digital lynch mob gathered around Ryan Lanza when he was mistakenly accused of being the school shooter when the culprit was his brother. And in Boston, false information ran rampant, from erroneous stories of people killed to a fake campaign tricking people into thinking a dollar would go to victims for each of their retweets.
The Reddit business on trying to track down the Boston bomber was embarrassing both in real-time and after the fact. I turned off reddit for a few weeks because of the insanity exhibited in that community. In nearly every major media event in the last decade, readers of this blog, followers on Twitter and strangers online accuse me of being insensitive for not retweeting #Kony2012 or expressing sympathy for victims of terrorist attacks.
I see activities like the recent Trayvon Martin trial as distractions. Terrorism, Court cases, murders and crimes happen every moment of the day. To focus so intently on events that don’t affect us and aren’t historically important is a waste of time. As the character Will from Newsroom said:
“And now those network newscasts, anchored through history by honest-to-God newsmen with names like Murrow and Reasoner and Huntley and Brinkley and Buckley and Cronkite and Rather and Russert…now, they have to compete with the likes of me, a cable anchor who’s in the exact same business as the producers of “’Jersey Shore.’”
The goal in all media (this blog excluded) is to sell advertisements OR to keep your eyeballs glued to the screen. Shots of a burning building and explosions are way cooler than a bunch of stats, numbers and excel spreadsheets. Facts are boring, sensationalism is not.
I’m getting off topic though.
In regards to the social media information drain, I don’t like the state of things. Like the article I posted earlier about the bodybuilder who supposedly shot a guy in the knee, there is a ton of misinformation. Let’s leave it to the journalists to report the news and even then, we should remain skeptical and challenge what we’re being told. Everything is on the Internet. You just have to learn how to use Google.
Do yourself a favor and get your news from BBC or Associated Press. The AP and Reuters sell their news to media organizations and grant licenses to publishers access to their stories. You can view a lot of their stuff for free and you’ll get these story without any filter. Retweet the AP if you want but even CNN isn’t trusted anymore.