Why Twitter is not a reliable news source and traditional press wins

Big news stories often break first on Twitter these days but if you were to use the voice of the people as your main source for news you would be a fool.  The reason for this is that news only spreads on Twitter if it is big and sensational.  It will also spread whether there is evidence to support it or not and will keep spreading even if it turns out not to be news at all.  Why is this? Simply put: Nobody finds non news interesting enough to tell the world about it.

A prime example of this happened today in Holborn, London with a bomb scare that almost as quickly as it came to light was dealt with and finished.  The problem is that as I write this, about three hours after everything was declared OK and everyone is getting on with their lives again, people are still retweeting the news and that people should stay away.  Of course nobody is tweeting that it’s all done, dusted and nothing actually came of it.

The event (or perhaps non event) in Holborn today is a win for the traditional press because they will only report it if there is something to report and will not do so until they know this.

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