Twitter webs

Oh, tangled traps believed, when like moths we fly to Twitter lights, deceived.

Regards to Sir Walter Scott, but the point is that Twitter is much more than a simple micro-blogging site. It is the best and worst of products: something for everyone.

Twitter is kindling for the misinformed, a playground for digital tricks. Twitter carries untruths and half-truths faster than the mythological Rumor.

Depending on where you live, even the truth itself is deadly (Warning: graphic image).

As Twitter is integrated into our lives — government processes, business school applications and entrance essays, even books — the importance of guarding against misinformation increases.

I’ll repeat what I said earlier in the yearWe are information creators, interpreters/navigators and police, the three branches of the fourth estate.

A recent article from Poynter reiterates my point. Liz Heron, social media editor for The New York Times, is quoted in the piece.

“I think there is a hunger out there for us to debunk misinformation when it’s out there.”

It’s not enough to share information on Twitter, the article posits, for our roles now must expand to include actively stemming the flow of incorrect information.

Remember what “www” stands for? World Wide Web.

In the big, bad, scary Internet forest, it’s never good to be a moth, but it is career-ending to be a spider.

Don’t be the spider.

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