Correcting Errors Via Twitter
That misinformation can spread at lightning speed across social networks is a contemporary fact of life. News organizations — and those that watch them — have long tried to figure out how to correct errors post-publishing in a world where an initial misguided tweet takes on a life of its own in a spiral of retweets.
Paul Bradshaw of the Online Journalism Blog wrestled up an interesting hack to address the issue. After seeing reports that News of the World could destroy incriminating evidence against it once it shut down, he created @autodebunker in order to counter the information.
The idea here was to automate feedback to those retweeting information that had been debunked. His MacGyvered solution:
- Create Twitter Account - in this case, @autodebunker
- Grab RSS feed for Twitter posts that need debunking - done via Twitter advanced search
- Create new RSS feed with Feedburner - This gives you some flexibility with the feed parameters
- Use the Twitterfeed app to auto-publish your debunking - after all, you can’t manually chase down every retweet.
If interested in doing the same, check out Bradshaw’s post where he explains each of the steps above. It’s not a foolproof solution, and obviously can’t tackle all the errors we find online, but it is a neat hack to counter the misinformation that bugs you.