June 26, 2008

well i missed the subway kid dying on twitter thing...

I guess I was too busy getting kissed to death by a grateful little dog (few posts down friends) to catch the jared-from-subway-died twitter mishap today.

Louis Gray Not Blue has a good rundown of what happens when the echo chamber tunes in to its own reverb, and suddenly twitterers were all a-twitter tweeting the news of the subway guy's demise.

Except that the whole thing was urban legend and Subway-Jared is just fine.

Cindy McCain on the other hand is probably still sneaking Vicodin. I took one after my surgery. I can hardly blame her, addict-thief that she is...

But I digress.

Louis noted that the ripple effect of popular twitterers tweeting bad information in this case had tens of thousands of followers of Kevin Rose of Digg and Adam Ostrow of Mashable mourning Jared's death before lunch.

Louis thinks that those who twitter should fact-check before tweeting 'breaking news' as a solution to the potential harm of false tweets (known pre-1999 as rumors). I think 1) fact checking online is overrated, 2) twitter is not a news-breaking service but ubiquitous IM and inherently untrustworthy yet entertaining overall, 3) that you can always count on the self-correcting nature of the Internet.

That's how you'll know when I tweet, "Surgeon General reports 140 character thinking causes brain damage," that I might be telling the truth.