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Signal to noise ratio on Twitter is absurdly absurd... Check this out...

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ReverendDeuce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-21-09 11:25 AM
Original message
Signal to noise ratio on Twitter is absurdly absurd... Check this out...
I'm seeing posts about how great Twitter is during this situation in Iran and how it's going to be the end of "corporate" or "mainstream" media. This is so divorced from reality it's amazing anyone would suggest such a thing.

I agree that Twitter has been a powerful tool for getting details out of Iran during this crisis, but have any of you actually used any of the tools to try and participate in following what is going on?

For every new, relevant tweet there are at least a hundred re-tweets and false links to blogs already shared. For example, this morning, some knuckleheads keep re-tweeting that Mousavi has been arrested. It's the same tweet over and over and over until its spun into an instant meme -- even HuffPo mentioned it briefly in their headlines until it was proven to be misinformation.

As I wrote this, I switched tabs to see what was going on and I see this brilliant gem of an example of pure noise:

#iranelection Moussavi claims to be Luke Skywalker
zapataser 9:13


Right now it's a stream of angry rhetoric, copypasta memorials for Neda, and pure misinformation or hucksterism... Don't believe me? Here's just one of the many tools you can use to monitor Twitter hashes. Try #iran, #iranelection, and #tehran for a good start:

http://www.monitter.com

I still believe that there is a lot of good information coming from Twitter, but it takes guile and determination to actually find that information from the steady cacophony of gibberish.
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HughMoran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-21-09 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
1. Looks like DUers found Twitter
:rofl:
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ReverendDeuce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-21-09 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. I've been aware of Twitter for quite some time, thanks...
Edited on Sun Jun-21-09 11:32 AM by ReverendDeuce
I am trying to calm people down because the hype is reaching an unbelievable level. All I constantly read and hear are people yammering on about how Twitter is revolutionizing the whole world and the media is running scared and this and that and the other thing... Holy shit!

I remember the #swineflu tag... Good sweet Christ and baby Jesus people were NUTS over that thing... Everybody was Tweeting...

I do recall one that actually made me LOL... someone tweeted that Bea Arthur succumbed to swine flu, since her death came during the peak of the crisis.
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-21-09 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. Twiter critic here for some time, BUT you miss the point...
Twitter, was, in THIS case the ONLY form of communication the Iranian government could not suppress. In THIS setting, Twitter has made me a believer, though everyone must take what is posted and put an enormous filter around it (as they should be doing with most real time information soruces as well as much posted on the internet).


I agree that with swine flu, it was a tin foil hat waste of time and public health is STILL trying to address some of the rampant misinformation that occurred as a result.
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-..__... Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-21-09 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Couldn't or simply didn't?
Sending troops to take control of communication centers, cell phone towers, Internet providers,etc might not have stopped every bit of info coming out, but it sure as hell would have put a damper on it.

My guess is that the Tweeting Revolution caught them unprepared.
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-21-09 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. Yes.. of course... They can't stop what they don't understand...
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lxlxlxl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-21-09 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. sms, satellite phones and bbs > twitter
they dont even know where these twitter posts are coming from. you can spoof your location.

if you were leading a protest, twitter is the most useless tool for anything other than confusing people with rumor and innuendo.

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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-21-09 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. You seem to be arguing both sides...
Edited on Sun Jun-21-09 01:14 PM by hlthe2b
Effective because the government couldn't readily intervene for the reasons you cite....

As to being a useless tool for protests.... Seems to me they have managed rather well. Certainly have had staggering numbers where they needed them to be. THat said, I'm not a fan of twitter in general.
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billyoc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-21-09 11:27 AM
Response to Original message
2. It's the AOL Pedophile Connection of the 21st century.
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tridim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-21-09 11:27 AM
Response to Original message
3. That's why I compare it directly to usenet and IRC.
It's the SAME THING with all the same problems.
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lxlxlxl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-21-09 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #3
19. yeah, but usenet and irc at least has a bigger 'reliable' audience
if you have been an owner or manager of an iranian listserv, usenet group, or irc room for years now, you are getting better info than random twitter posts...

also, 'the old internet' or bbs's are still places that governments cant shut down.

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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-21-09 11:27 AM
Response to Original message
4. I'm just glad my eyes have improved
and have me back to nearly the page at a glance type of reading I did before I went blind.

It helps a lot when reading sites where so many people feel compelled to post rubbish in the same spirit that taggers spray paint their names on anything that will stand still long enough.
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swag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-21-09 11:28 AM
Response to Original message
5. #iranelection is impossible
persiankiwi still seems a decent, if limited, source:

http://twitter.com/persiankiwi
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madeline_con Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-21-09 11:33 AM
Response to Original message
7. The "good guys" aren't the only ones who use Twitter.
Hence the misinformation used to demoralize the Iranians, and the need to change our time zone to Tehran's. There is plenty of good infomation, and a real need to pass it on, like how to treat chemical burns, and which embassies are accepting injured ppl.
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-21-09 11:33 AM
Response to Original message
8. You have to be reeeeeeeeeally selective about what and who you follow
I'm managing it OK, but then again, I live for large and overwhelming tidal waves of information. Why else do you think I've been DUing for more than eight years now? ;)
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Heidi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-21-09 11:42 AM
Response to Original message
9. Not much different than a blog. In news, credibility is essential.
Edited on Sun Jun-21-09 11:43 AM by Heidi
No Twitter account comes with built-in credibility. Microblogs are so new as a news delivery instrument that it will take some time for the cream to rise to the top, but I suspect it has been this way for most new communications instruments from newspapers and alt newspapers to websites and blogs. Not too far down the road, the next new thing will come along and its audience also will be searching for credibility.
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tabatha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-21-09 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
10. It is probably spam by Iran govt to help dilute the effect of the protesters.
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-21-09 12:05 PM
Response to Original message
11. I have been learning from FB that there are people who are like schools of fish and there are
people who are more like solitary fish.

I'm on Twitter, I can see what it could be used for, but I don't understand what it IS being used for; I see some posts on FB and I wonder why, but it's still significant to someone. They're just different from me.
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-..__... Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-21-09 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
13. I posted this in another thread.
Talk about being open to abuse... Twitter is a trolls dream.

No email confirmation, can change usernames, no report or alert button, can set up multiple accounts, etc.

Anyone who thinks Twitter is a a reliable source of info is delusional or has no idea what takes place on the Internet.

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lxlxlxl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-21-09 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. see post below yours...
serendipity!

your right though...twitter is just public instant messaging...no reliability, no verification...

I was just listening to Clay Shirky, who is really smart, but who is just evangellizing blindly about Novel Web Tech like crazy on CNN.

if i was a street organizing radical, twitter would have absolutely no value.

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-..__... Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-21-09 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #16
21. I think the love affair will be short lived.
Just wait until people start doing things like setting up fake accounts with sock puppets Tweeting one another, then interrupt regular broadcasting with things like the plane that their on has just been hijacked, or they've just been taking hostage at the bank, etc.

Twitters anonymous format will be it's demise and it'll go back to being a conversation tool for Brittny Spears/pre-teens/teens gleefully discussing what outfits she'll be wearing at her next concert.
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lxlxlxl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-21-09 01:04 PM
Response to Original message
15. haha...just posted a close to dupe topic...twitter or satellite phones?
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Just posted that...a bit of a ramble though.

There is just something really odd about how American media tends to get stuck on these 'hyper-simplistic' angles on stories that seem self serving...

The Iranian situation is being used to promote Web 2.0 solutions for 3rd world political protest, while there is absolutely no real treatment of the issue

1) these media companies DIVESTED from International coverage. They are all trying to do 'cable news' 'real time' information AS CHEAP AS POSSIBLE. of course they love twitter, it is doing all of their work for them.

2) ask yourself what is more useful to someone in Iran -- I would rank SMS as number 1 because so many people use it, but before internet or twitter, a satellite phone is probably the most powerful 'media tool' anyone could have there...you cant turn off the internet if you can dial out on a phone not connected to a land line

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