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20 years

Monday, June 8, 2009

Twitter Accountability and Longevity: What's the Future of Twittering Versus Fact-Checked Journalism?

Twitter doesn't claim to compete with The New York Times or The Washington Post, but it can have similar influence on - can even be a maker or breaker of - an organization's or an individual's reputation. But, could "Tweets" soon be cast aside as rumor and unfounded hype? Or will tweets gain power and influence?

Tony La Russa seems to think that either way, tweets shouldn't be ignored. The St. Louis Cardinals manager filed suit in San Francisco, CA Superior Court claiming that Twitter allowed a fake account to be set up under La Russa's name with demeaning and derogatory updates about current and former players - that has caused irreparable damage to his reputation. Should Twitter and/or the person who opened the fake account be liable?

It seems that many people feel that tough-talk-twittering amounts to merely off-the-cuff, inconsequential speech as opposed to measured and leveraged assaults that can cause real damage. So, tweeters should feel free to say anything they want.

Apparently, you can even feel free to criticize the President. Sen. Chuck Grassley posted a scathing tweet about President Obama's demand for action on healthcare reform: "Pres Obama you got nerve while u sightseeing in Paris to tell us 'time to deliver' on health care. We still on skedul/even workinWKEND."

But, we're talking about just 140 characters max, so any damage would be limited, right? Wrong. As Time Magazine pointed out, Twitter is being used as a "pointing device," sharing links to articles and videos and other longer-form pieces. This all extends the interest and influence. In fact, let me point you to that interesting Time article: http://tinyurl.com/pr9qg5

Are there no consequences to tweeting? If there are none, should there be? Also, will tweeting last and even continue to expand? What is your opinion?

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