Swine flu and the uselessness of Twitter during emergenciesMathew Ingram once said "Twitter is the first draft of history." Sadly, this first draft is taken for truth on Twitter, multiplied with each Re-tweet.
What is more, in case of emergencies, Tweets become 'the first draft of fear'
- with little or no context, Retweeted over and over, until only nonsense remains.
The Foreign Policy blog explains the uselessness of Twitter during emergencies:
Unlike basic internet search – which has been already been nicely used by Google to track emerging flu epidemics – Twitter seems to have introduced too much noise into the process: as opposed to search requests which are generally motivated only by a desire to learn more about a given subject, too many Twitter conversations about swine flu seem to be motivated by desires to fit in, do what one's friends do (i.e. tweet about it) or simply gain more popularity.