Twitter, like Facebook, is a great tool to share opinions, be it broadcasting companies special offers or simply just sharing news. But what if the wrong information gets tweeted accidently or even worse…on purpose? Even if you delete the wrong tweet as soon as you realise, you need to remember that it is still out there and maybe even re-tweeted by others.
“The speed at which information spreads is so much quicker than it used to be, and Twitter is such a big part of that,” explained social media expert Krista Neher.
A couple of days ago, the Associated Press Twitter account got hacked. The hackers tweeted about an explosion at the White House. This information was then shared more than 3,000 times before Twitter intervened and took the account offline. As a result Twitters stocks plunged and will need a while to recover.
Another example of how powerful incorrect tweets can be is clear when we look back to August 2012 when a journalist from Italy created a fake Twitter account for a member of Russia’s government. He wrote about the death of the Syrian president which caused immediately instabilities in the oil markets.
And more recently, the case of the missing Brown University student who was suspected to be responsible for the bomb attack in Boston was all over social media networks. Even though it hadn’t been approved by authorities yet many people believed the tweet almost immediately.
Tweets like these, as well as posts on Facebook or entries in blogs have the power to give somebody a bad reputation, end careers and even cause diplomatic strains. On these social media networks it doesn’t matter if the news is real or fake, if somebody shared the information it will be spread instantly. An additional tweet may limit the damage but then again it might not get the same attention as the first.
So 4pm leave you with these wise words today, be more careful what you re-tweet or share as you never know what the consequences may be! Too extreme? What are your thoughts on the influence of social media?