When Tweets are wrong – what can you do?

The Social Media Spotlight

When Tweets are wrong – what can you do?

Everybody knows Twitter is arguably the fastest communication tool of them all.  Breaking news can be broken globally in as little time as it takes to bash out 140 characters or less.  The problem is, with the haste to be the first to break the news, sometimes the details aren’t checked for absolute accuracy first.

Beyond breaking news, there’s general haste and rush to get a Tweet out there.  We’re talking spelling and grammar.  If you’re Joe Public then so be it, you can own those errors without any fuss.  But if you’re a brand, it doesn’t do your image any favours.  Nothing screams hasty and unprofessional like an error filled, grammatically incorrect Tweet.  And you just know that the first people to re-Tweet or respond will be those pointing out your errors.  Bye bye intended message, hello multiple helpful Tweets about where you went wrong.

How about Tweets composed in anger?  Whether you’re simply having a bad day or you have a bone to pick, some things are best kept off Social Media.  Oops, too late.  Sure you can delete a Tweet, but it will still show up where it’s been re-Tweeted by others.

Information Architects Interface designer Oliver Recihenstein has come up with what he thinks is a more appropriate means of minimising the impact of a regretted or incorrect Tweet.  He thinks users should have the ability to literally put a line through the incorrect Tweet, making it clear to other users that you’re owning the whole “my bad” nature of your erroneous Tweet.

Journalists and Social Media professionals alike have responded positively to the basic concept.  Reuters’ Social Media Editor liked the idea, expanding on it to say that an automatic link to a corrected Tweet would be great – albeit technically difficult.  Twitter themselves were not so keen, based on the level of difficulty and the man power required to formulate and implement such a concept.

The Internet is forever, and Twitter is an instant gratification platform that lends itself to erroneous or hastily posted messages.  Perhaps this is an issue that warrants further investigation.

Is this the solution for how to deal with erroneous Tweets?

In other news….

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