Twitter Is The Best Place For News — Which Can Be The Worst Thing In The World

Breaking news and the social web, all in one day. BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (BF_STATIC.bf_test_mode) localStorage.setItem(‘posted_date’, 1408485048); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { document.getElementById(“update_posted_time_3422558”).innerHTML = “posted on ” + UI.dateFormat.get_formatted_date(1408485048); }); ▵ Jenna Wortham ▵ @jennydeluxe

Twitter is a very strange place right now

BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (BF_STATIC.bf_test_mode) localStorage.setItem(‘tweet_posted_date’, ‘Tue Aug 19 21:13:59 +0000 2014’); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (BF_STATIC.bf_test_mode) localStorage.setItem(‘utc_posted_date’, ‘Tue Aug 19 21:13:59 +0000 2014’); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (bfjs.isMobile() || !isIE8()) document.getElementById(“update_tweet_posted_time_3628352”).setAttribute(‘title’, ‘Time posted: ‘ + UI.dateFormat.get_formatted_date(‘Tue Aug 19 21:13:59 +0000 2014’, ‘UTC’) ); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { document.getElementById(“update_tweet_posted_time_3628352”).innerHTML = UI.dateFormat.get_formatted_date(‘Tue Aug 19 21:13:59 +0000 2014’, ‘tweet’); });

Earlier this afternoon, I wrote a long post about Facebook’s coverage of Ferguson, which included the handwringing from many members of the media over Facebook’s algorithm filtering hard news coverage of the protests. It also included a a good bit of praise from the same crowd (myself, included) as to the raw, unfiltered, and ceaseless coverage of all developments out of Ferguson. The consensus from the media crowd: Twitter is the best place for raw breaking news.

Are you sure you want raw breaking news?

Just an hour ago a very disturbing video surfaced, allegedly showing American journalist James Foley being brutally beheaded. Naturally, the link to the video as well as extremely disturbing and graphic photos began to appear on Twitter. In the past year, Twitter has updated to allow in-stream image and video previews, meaning many users didn’t have any warning before seeing the graphic scene.

Naturally, the reaction was of horror and disgust, as well as justified criticism of posting the images at all:

PJ Vogt @PJVogt

I'm going to go outside. Anybody else who can should turn off their computer and go outside.

BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (BF_STATIC.bf_test_mode) localStorage.setItem(‘tweet_posted_date’, ‘Tue Aug 19 21:10:29 +0000 2014’); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (BF_STATIC.bf_test_mode) localStorage.setItem(‘utc_posted_date’, ‘Tue Aug 19 21:10:29 +0000 2014’); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (bfjs.isMobile() || !isIE8()) document.getElementById(“update_tweet_posted_time_3628354”).setAttribute(‘title’, ‘Time posted: ‘ + UI.dateFormat.get_formatted_date(‘Tue Aug 19 21:10:29 +0000 2014’, ‘UTC’) ); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { document.getElementById(“update_tweet_posted_time_3628354”).innerHTML = UI.dateFormat.get_formatted_date(‘Tue Aug 19 21:10:29 +0000 2014’, ‘tweet’); });

Alex Alvarez @soalexgoes

Also: Don't do a search for James Wright Foley on Twitter right now either if you don't want to see graphic images.

BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (BF_STATIC.bf_test_mode) localStorage.setItem(‘tweet_posted_date’, ‘Tue Aug 19 20:57:36 +0000 2014’); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (BF_STATIC.bf_test_mode) localStorage.setItem(‘utc_posted_date’, ‘Tue Aug 19 20:57:36 +0000 2014’); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (bfjs.isMobile() || !isIE8()) document.getElementById(“update_tweet_posted_time_3628508”).setAttribute(‘title’, ‘Time posted: ‘ + UI.dateFormat.get_formatted_date(‘Tue Aug 19 20:57:36 +0000 2014’, ‘UTC’) ); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { document.getElementById(“update_tweet_posted_time_3628508”).innerHTML = UI.dateFormat.get_formatted_date(‘Tue Aug 19 20:57:36 +0000 2014’, ‘tweet’); });

Conor Powell @ConormPowell

Please do not retweet photos of #james #foley's death. You are only doing what #isis wants. Hope this isn't true. Jim was a great guy

BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (BF_STATIC.bf_test_mode) localStorage.setItem(‘tweet_posted_date’, ‘Tue Aug 19 20:58:08 +0000 2014’); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (BF_STATIC.bf_test_mode) localStorage.setItem(‘utc_posted_date’, ‘Tue Aug 19 20:58:08 +0000 2014’); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (bfjs.isMobile() || !isIE8()) document.getElementById(“update_tweet_posted_time_3628503”).setAttribute(‘title’, ‘Time posted: ‘ + UI.dateFormat.get_formatted_date(‘Tue Aug 19 20:58:08 +0000 2014’, ‘UTC’) ); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { document.getElementById(“update_tweet_posted_time_3628503”).innerHTML = UI.dateFormat.get_formatted_date(‘Tue Aug 19 20:58:08 +0000 2014’, ‘tweet’); });

Andrew M. Seaman @andrewmseaman

Journalism ethics apply to Twitter, too. If you wouldn't show the video on your newscast or print it in your paper, don't do it online.

BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (BF_STATIC.bf_test_mode) localStorage.setItem(‘tweet_posted_date’, ‘Tue Aug 19 21:16:16 +0000 2014’); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (BF_STATIC.bf_test_mode) localStorage.setItem(‘utc_posted_date’, ‘Tue Aug 19 21:16:16 +0000 2014’); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (bfjs.isMobile() || !isIE8()) document.getElementById(“update_tweet_posted_time_3628370”).setAttribute(‘title’, ‘Time posted: ‘ + UI.dateFormat.get_formatted_date(‘Tue Aug 19 21:16:16 +0000 2014’, ‘UTC’) ); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { document.getElementById(“update_tweet_posted_time_3628370”).innerHTML = UI.dateFormat.get_formatted_date(‘Tue Aug 19 21:16:16 +0000 2014’, ‘tweet’); });

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Of course, nobody here is even remotely wrong! Instead, what this illustrates is the media’s fraught relationship with Twitter. We live on it. It’s essential to our work and we praise its speed and ability to deliver unfiltered news. On the other hand: we live on it; it’s essential to our work; and it delivers unfiltered news.

What makes Twitter great for news makes it, at times, a horrible place; Facebook, meanwhile, would never do that to you. A quick trip to my Facebook feed shows one quick post about the beheading via Gawker (it was gone after one refresh) — the rest is ice buckets and viral news, courtesy of the algorithm.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/charliewarzel/twitter-and-the-special-relationship

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