Monday, June 14, 2010

Spreading rumors on Twitter like Real Life?

Twitter and Real Life
I am finding a lot of similarity between habits on twitter and habits in Life. And all I can tell you is that I am enjoying it to the max.

How easy is it to spread rumors
You know how in life you hear a story, and that story could simply be true or false. And then it's up to you whether to believe it, either search to verify it or simply transmit it to others as well and then so on and so forth?

What is Twitter really about?
Same thing happens on Twitter. First of all Twitter allows a 140 character space per message (known as tweet). Twitter, as I have come to conclude within the past year I've been using it, is a combination of a sharing platform, sharing of links, news, photos, posts.. it's a marketing tool, it's a mini mIRC (chatting window) and some people use twitter a la facebook (I am hungry, I am wearing a yellow sock, my mom called etc...)

Sharing.. Okay let's share
So, let's focus on the sharing part. Someone could share a link with a comment, but most of us simply retweet it (post the same message again), and we do that without verifying the validity of the comment or news. Thus, the rumor spread and placing ourselves in an awkward situation.

For example, this photo!
Links to this photo were tweeted by several on Twitter, especially now with the whole WorldCup hype:

It says something like "German Fan Fail" as in gone wrong.. For the reason that the flag on his jacket is not Germany's flag.. Nonetheless, and luckily, one of the commentators explained that it is actually one of Germany's states flag, Schleswig-Holstein.

Now let's not be too judgmental, if you're following a lot of users, you will end up being bombarded with so many links and tweets that you can no longer verify every single one of them, and don't really have time to do so, and many of them look very interesting! So you end up judging based on the comment in the message itself, and the trust you have for that person.

In conclusion, maybe we shouldn't re-post (retweet) everything we find fancy, and sometimes, yes, we need to invest a bit of time to verify some stuff. Just like we do in real life no?

Photos Courtesy of:
First taken from
Second taken from


  1. Very, very true! I try to always open the link and read it before RTing as have been caught out a few times with broken links or pages that don't open. I like to RT interesting tweets from Lebanon to followers in the UAE and beyond. I think it is also a form of appreciation to the person who has taken the trouble to write, draw, read, find etc...

  2. Very good point Micha! how embarrassing is it, to retweet a broken link.. lol.. but I know that most of the time its with good intention and full trust to the person we're following

  3. what's worse than RT'ing a broken RT'ing a wrong link or a pron link - sometimes even a virus..
    people should take the time to actually read the article/link/hear the song