Twitter RTs: Or how lies can still travel faster than truth?

In the wake of that extraordinary piece of Television last week in Dublin, Stephen Waddington, a PR specialising in Digital Comms in London has this nice piece on the problem of RTing on Twitter, often without looking at the original content… I particularly like this from @domburch:

Adds This is also relevant from a couple of days ago; on the use of Twitter as an unqualified lead

  • Yes, it’s a bit like “If it sounds too good to be true…” in the economic sphere.
    Interestingly, as an experiment about 15 years ago, while at a meeting 100 miles from my work base, I made a ridiculous comment at a meeting. The story/rumour got back to my home base before I did and had spread widely. I had to keep my head low for a few days.

  • Alias

    What you had was the D4 media determining the result of a democratic election. They saw which way the public intended to vote and they decided that it was the wrong way in their collective opinion of D4.

    Neither the fake Twitter account nor McGuinness played as crucial a role in that as is assumed since without the media whipping up hysteria to the effect that being a member of FF was a worse crinimal offence than being a member of PIRA then it would all have been much ado about nothing – which, of course, it was but the point being that the nothing was hyped up to child molestor status.

    Still, the media got their luvvie elected…

  • Mick Fealty

    Well Alias,

    I think that presumes a lot we cannot account for.

    Credibility gap (the public knew SG as a Dragon celebrity, not a politician) is one factor we might account for and, as suggested in an earlier thread, there’s no evidence that #RTEFL was responsible for the drop (or at least not the whole drop) in his final polling performance.

    In fact there’s a connection here between the example Steve gives and the public credibility of the company concerned (McDonalds) and the weakness of the FF political brand.

    It would not be the first time brands lost an argument regardless of the facts of the case. Greenpeace versus Shell over the Brent Spar is a good pre Twitter/Social Media example.

    It’s easy to stick a falsehood on a weak public brand, which in the final analysis is what happened to Mr Gallagher, I suspect. All the pure Athenian analysis of media ethics can’t get round that Machiavellian reality.

  • Mick,

    I noticed similar twice with Slugger’s own Eamonn Mallie this week.

    I and another on a first reading saw this tweet as possibly racist (it wasn’t). And some shinners were unhappy with this one where he anglicised Niall ó’Donnghaile. Though the same complainants seemed unable to respond when Mallie later tweeted as gaelige.

  • rte frontline was journalist national tv outlet who chose not to doublecheck the tweet so they could say something and then blame twitter if it turned out to be wrong. a very old trick of old media will use “somebody said” to say something they won’t

  • Lies and obfuscation are hallmarks of the political trade. How anyone, especially a journalist, could take a single comment to be the truth is a tad ingenuous. Actually, quite a bit more than a tad.

  • “disingenuous” even.

  • The session [youtube] looked like a double whammy against Sean. I think this possibly incorrect ‘sexed-up’ intervention from Pat Kenny, “You went to a fuel smuggler and you invited him to an FF do?”, was also very significant.

    Sean said earlier that this information was given to him a few days previously but that he didn’t know it at the time of the do.

    Had the NI MSM done a professional job, Pat could have called Martin on SF’s cronyism and links with developers in NI but didn’t.

    Was the RTE suckered into the move against Sean or did it grasp the opportunity offered? Perhaps it was a bit of both.

  • considering there was up to 800,000 people watched the debate i say lies travel faster on television then they do on twitter.