Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Twitter Spreads Scoops — and Falsehoods - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com

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.

Twitter Spreads Scoops — and Falsehoods - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com

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