On Big Events, Twitter Devolves Into Cable News

Ben Walsh: Information overload detracts from site's best trait, judgment
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2012 2:17 PM CST

(Newser) – Twitter is supposed to be an innovative—and personalized—way of getting big news as it happens, but anyone who had it up as the Newtown school shooting unfolded might have thought otherwise, writes online editor Ben Walsh at Reuters. "At moments of acute information and emotional overload, Twitter’s most intense news cycles don’t feel like a conversation between actual people thinking in real time," he writes. "Instead, Twitter feels more like something that is supposed to be passé: cable news."

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Twitter's been around long enough now to have its own type of news cycle, starting with everyone tweeting the same facts over and over. The information is quickly useless. What's valuable at that point is finding stuff that isn't being widely shared. "Twitter has the aggregation technology to bundle content for users" and help fix the problem, but it opts to use it only on a "stale" weekly newsletter instead of real-time news. Too bad. "That, unlike the repetitions, would add actual value." Read the full column here. (Read more Twitter stories.)

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