Originally published in The Tigers Den Blog | 15 December 2010
Thanks to the awesome guys here at bloguin.com, I’ve been given the opportunity to run this Detroit Tiger blog, and while it’s the offseason and I haven’t posted in roughly a month (a little too much work at my day job has been a big part of that), I’m glad I have this outlet to express my opinions not just about the Tigers but about baseball and sports in general. (Why yes, that is a picture of Carmelo Anthony…more on him soon).
I’ve been writing online for years, whether it be on my own blogs or for sports media outlets, but no matter who I’m writing for or what I’m writing about my number one concern is that anything I write is 100% accurate and that I can back it up with fact.
And so, while it may just be that I haven’t really noticed anything up to this point, over the last few days these fake twitter accounts and inaccurate trade rumors have really started to bug me.
For starters, @DenverChannel seems to be a nice, legitimate twitter account for KMGH TV, also known as Channel 7 news, in Denver, Colorado. Looking at their history of updates there seems to be no issues with misinformation. It’s a simple twitter account, updating news and information in a painless way.
Then, last night at about 11:30 EST time I see this tweet pop up:
Wow. I think. That’s amazing. I start clicking around the web, trying to find a little more information on this trade, and…I…can’t…find…anything.
Not long after the first tweet the ABC affiliate tweeted that Carmelo would need to agree to a long term contract before the deal could be done. This tweet came just an hour after the first tweet, and hmmmm, it somehow had a different tone to it.
We know that CBSSports.com reported that the Nets just acquired two first-round picks to potentially make a run at Anthony early in the day (the deal involved a total of three teams), but, sheesh, here we have a “done deal” then we have a “potential deal” then, we find out from multiple basketball media guru’s that there was never any deal AT ALL.
Adrian Wojnarowski. Chris Tomasson. J.A. Adande. All these well-connected NBA dudes heard from their sources that there was absolutely no truth to it. Even Mr. Anthony himself chimed in after the Nuggets 111-94 win over the Magic. “It’s terrible. There’s no truth to it.”
Are we kidding ourselves? Of course not.
So, after the broadcast, Bienvenu was asked on Twitter to clarify the extremely odd report for those of us that don’t live in Denver and didn’t have the fortune to see this amazing breaking news. Well, he responded just as anyone backed into a corner of LIES would. He tweets, in suddenly chopped English, ”No, Melo was not traded. Deal is in works. Trade could happen.”
Of course, it can happen. In fact, it may happen. But please, for the love of wasted time, please don’t try to be the first one to report it. To be politically incorrect (just like you), it makes you look like a retard.
Of course, this was the one that completely blew up, but it is hardly the only misinformation coming from twitter (yes, even in all its awesomeness). The social media site is a perfect place for idiots to pretend to be people they’re not, report things that aren’t true, for what….followers? I don’t get it.
In the hours before Cliff Lee’s shocking announcement that he was signing with Philadelphia, a fake Ken Rosenthal account popped up and started posting information about the “mystery team” that was going to sign Cliff Lee. By just changing a single letter at the end of Rosenthal’s name, this diabolical imposter managed to confuse a LOT of people in a few short hours (and gain a couple hundred moronic followers in the process) and for what? What?
The real Rosenthal twitter made a statement and that was it. Sheesh, if I had a few empty hours in my day, I sure wouldn’t be spending it making a fake insider account, and if you do it, please e-mail me and explain why.
Yes, we understand that this is Twitter and the line of professional journalism doesn’t even compare, but there is something inherently wrong with individuals who create accounts and post ridiculous information when it’s just not true. Why does this kind of stuff exist? What is the purpose?
All I can say is, there may be those that dream to be an insider for a media outlet, there are those that may just think it’s funny (and yes, a lot of it is, but not when it’s obvious that you’re trying to fool people), but if these people would focus a little of that passion into actually doing something productive….well, there’s a reason they’re creating fake twitter accounts and posting misinformation and not actually doing the real thing.