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Tweeting Iran

As is my habit, I was watching the news while getting ready to leave for work this morning. I was apalled.

Naturally the unrest in Iran was a chief topic of interest. But what absolutely blew my mind was that they were reporting on tweets about Iran. Mind you, these were not tweets FROM Iran, they were just random tweets like "We're all praying for you in Iran, stay strong, go long." What the hell? This is news? Unsourced (and unattributed) comments from random people on the internet?

What's more, they were braying about how amazing it was that they're using social media sites to get the scoop on Iran. Has anyone told these morons that they're supposed to be reporting TO the masses on the facts, rather than reporting on what the masses are yammering about? The difference between Twitter and MSNBC is that, allegedly, MSNBC has journalists on staff who will confirm and fact-check the sources they report on. If I want to hear what jackasses on Twitter are saying about Iran, I'll just go to Twitter. And they were proud of this! Like it was some major breakthrough in journalism, to dispense entirely with journalistic integrity and just repeat rumor and hearsay.

There's no accountability in journalism - no one to pull them up to a short, sharp halt and tell them they're DOING IT WRONG. But I sure as hell won't be watching MSNBC again anytime soon, or any other news reporter that just repeats rumors and claims it's "news".

This just in from Twitter, "MSNBC staffed entirely by fucking donkeys!" "Reporters club baby harp seals to release tension after work!" "Journalism is dead, and twitter is corpsefucking it!" "Just had a great sammich for lunch!"

Report that, you frickin' fuckronauts.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 25th, 2009 08:56 am (UTC)
That story buried the lede, if it included it at all. The tweets from Iran, and the number of people around the world who helped set up proxies, etc. using twitter to coordinate which embassies or hospitals were accepting wounded or blockaded, etc. etc., That was the story, not the incessant chatter.

If there was a story about the chatter, it should have been that the news about Iran "broke" on twitter long before MSNBC or CNN picked up the ball.

But I agree, commenting on the commenting is a non-story.

Jun. 25th, 2009 05:01 pm (UTC)
I can't say how large or small a role Twitter has played in world events, but it's not the story - the EVENTS are the story. Imagine, if you will, someone in the 20's writing a story about how people were using these new-fangled telephones to get people out to the polls on election day. And then they proceeded to quote the conversations people were having, which had nothing in particular to do with the elections. That's asinine.

Repeating hearsay and rumors via Twitter isn't news. MSNBC didn't even repeat tweets from Iran which, by the way, are STILL unsourced and unattributed, and thus not "news" but "rumor". No, they repeated what people, presumably in America, were saying about Iran on Twitter. That's asinine.

There might have been *a* story about use of social media in Iran or other repressive regimes - and as a sub rosa way of getting people in those regimes, who might be watching, to utilize them, great, clever, awesome. But this has been a constant theme on the cable news channels: reading aloud tweets. Asinine!
Jun. 25th, 2009 05:23 pm (UTC)
I agree 100%, you said it better than I did :)

I didn't mean the story, I meant the story as it concerns twitter.

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


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