Ever heard of “Christmas in July?” Well, if Santa’s listening on this last day of June, how about:
• An End to Spam Followers. Seriously, I will PAY for Twitter if it means I can review new followers without fearing my kid will see full-frontal naked people. I mean, c’mon. (A conspiracy theorist might even suggest that this is all a cunning plan on behalf of the Twitter masterminds to get us to surrender our credit card information, but I won’t go there.)
• Rational RTs. Is there anything worse than someone retweeting misinformation? Yes, people who do it repeatedly. Sure, we all make a mistake now and then (guilty!), but just because information is zipping past or pops up as a link in Trending Topics does not mean it’s accurate.
And as for the dreadful Jeff Goldblum/George Clooney/Natalie Portman death rumors, one didn’t even need to check Snopes.com first to see that the site where two of the the stories originated were fake. The tip-off? The big ol’ disclaimer at the bottom of the “breaking news story” page that it was… a fake news site. (More)
Look at it this way: if we want Twitter to be a credible source on par with traditional news organizations (and I still think that’s a bit of a stretch), then we need to try to tweet as responsibly as we can. Sure, the potential is there as the Iran Election story has shown, but it’s like my 8th grade computer literacy teacher taught us in the ’80s: Garbage In/Garbage Out. For the youngsters, that means that the end-product of technology (including social media) is only as good as what we regurgitate, er, contribute.
• Secret Twitter Police. Am usually not a fan of tattle-telling, but the above situations merit some sort of underground network capable of putting out fires left to build while the folks at Twitter HQ plot the next round of upgrades. I’m not saying we need to censor people’s freedom of speech, but a measure of decorum can keep Twitter from becoming passe, as more of us seem to be burrowing behind Facebook’s privacy screen.
Got a wish? Feel free to share. Unless, of course, you’re a spammer. Then kindly go away.