Is Twitter Now the Premiere Source of Raw News?


Quick Answer

Twitter is not a premiere source of raw news. While it can provide instant updates and coverage of events, it lacks the widespread audience of other social media sites such as Facebook. Additionally, researchers find that while Twitter can be self-correcting over time, as users fact check tweets, initial posts are often full of inaccuracies.

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Full Answer

The Pew Research Center says 64 percent of U.S. adults use Facebook, with half of them getting their news from the site. By comparison, only 16 percent use Twitter, with half of those users getting their news from the system. So, as far as availability and user participation, Twitter has a comparatively small audience. In regards to posting actual news, 14 percent of online users have posted original news content including photos for stories. At 50 percent, the vast majority of users are only reposting and sharing stories they have found.

The second issue with news from Twitter is its accuracy and veracity. An expert analysis submitted to the Huffington Post recognizes that inaccurate or untrue news posted to Twitter often gets corrected, with true stories verified with 95 percent accuracy by the user community. However, this process takes time and bad information is initially sent out to the public, leaving readers unable to sort through what is true and false. Finally, false information is more likely to not be debunked than true information is to be verified as accurate. Only 50 percent of tweets later revealed to be false were noticed and corrected by the user community.

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