I have completely replaced my Google Reader feeds with Twitter lists, and it helps me to keep up with updates without having to sift through content. I just click on news that I like and read it. In addition to that, Twitter has also become a great way to bring news faster to the masses. A recent example is the Tunisia updates which is being touted as a Twitter revolution, you can read up on all that at Techmeme.
However, along with these wonderful things Twitter is doing, it is also becoming one of the biggest sources of hoaxes. Specially one’s which are connected to some big celebrity dying. In the past month I have seen three of them die (not literally) thanks to updates on Twitter. The most recent one is none other than South Africa’s Nelson Mandela and teen sensation Justin Bieber.
If you visit Twitter right now you will see "RIP JUSTIN BEIBER" and "RIP NELSON MANDELA" as the trending topics. This would give anyone an impression that these two individuals have been dead. This is not the first time that this has happened on Twitter and not the last time this will happen.
In the past celebrities like Eminem, Matt Damon and Harrison Ford have died (fake) on Twitter and then have been resurrected. I am being a bit sarcastic here, but the thing is that just like a good cause, rumors can travel fast too on Twitter, putting fans and the so called dead celebrities at hassle.
Twitter had recently changed their algorithms for trending topics. That algorithm has been a reason why WikiLeaks was not trending. However, Twitter needs work more towards filtering out such stupid rumors too. It is bad for everyone and will diminish Twitter’s authority when it comes to spreading real news.