Sunday, June 21, 2009

Why Are the Mainstream Media Outlets (CNN, MSNBC) Giving So Much Free On-Air Advertising to the Private Company Twitter?

***UPDATE (August 30, 2010) - This is why I should never say "never." I said below that I would never get a Twitter account. I should revise that statement to say, I won't get a "personal" Twitter account, because I did activate a Twitter account for Remixx World! at


As I sit here marinating on a lazy Sunday afternoon with CNN playing in the background, I wonder why does the media keep mentioning Twitter. Please count how many times on CNN they mention Twitter in an hour of live news. Is Twitter a part of the government? Or is it a private entity?

Now the networks have even incorporated Twitter into their respective broadcasts and are using it as a source of news. Is there any way to verify or authenticate a message that appears on someone's Twitter page or "tweet" as some might call their outgoing messages (note-I am assuming they call it a "tweet")?

Do I really want to get my news from Twitter? I am not saying Twitter is valueless. It can definitely be used as a communication tool (as it has been used in Iran recently), but Twitter should not be given any higher value than other direct testimonies. I do not want to hear entire segments devoted to Twitter news. Can Twitter posts even be considered news unless or until they are authenticated?

Call me crazy, but I have never really seen the networks incorporate some private entity into their telecasts like the networks have with Twitter. The newscasters have Twitter pages and they give instructional pieces on how to set-up and use Twitter accounts during live newscasts Why? It is not like Twitter can cure cancer or save the whales or feed the children!

The networks did not do this with Facebook, nor did they do this with Myspace or Friendster. I was called crazy for having a political page in 2006, but it would be mandatory for a political candidate to have a Myspace, Facebook, Twitter and who knows what else is popular. I personally stopped at Facebook and will never get a Twitter page.

Maybe the networks are just getting lazy and just want the people do all their work while they take the credit.

Or if you want to take the conspiracy theory route and believe that type of stuff, perhaps they want everyone linked up on Twitter, so all communications (or at least the important ones) will flow through a single database point. People are always talk about being chipped up. Who says the chip has to be an internal chip?

It could be an external chip and be just as effective. Every cell phone is an external chip and a majority of people have a cell phone. With the external chip and the Twitter once everyone joins, it would not be difficult for the telecommunications agencies to compile a database that captures a person's daily communications and locations on a verifiable digital record, because most people do not turn off their cell phones.

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