My $.02: the entire Twitter #amazonfail incident is a multifaceted and ominous example of what can happen when micro-blogging information access isn’t combined with information quality and information literacy. See the full NYT blog post for more details.
The Twitterati have long marveled at how effective the micro-blogging service is at spreading the news, 140 characters at a time. The crash of a US Airways Airbus in the Hudson in January is Exhibit 1, but there are many other examples.
Not surprisingly, Twitter is equally efficient at spreading misinformation.
Over the weekend, Amazon faced a Twitter-driven storm of criticism after gay-themed books disappeared from its sales rankings, leading to accusations of bigotry and censorship. Somewhere along the way, a hacker claimed responsibility for the incident and posted a description of how he did it. Pretty quickly the claims were reverberating through the Twittersphere, where plenty of people, though by no means all, took the claims at face value.