When it comes to breaking news, take your time to ensure your Twitter sources and their sources are credible because as the Boston marathon tweets revealed, it was credible sources that propagated the misinformation. Over 6,000 malicious Twitter user accounts were created during the Boston events and later suspended by Twitter. Creation of these negative Twitter proﬁles surged right after the blasts. Analysis of the interactions among the suspended proﬁles revealed a closed community structure. (To put this in context, roughly 4% of Twitter accounts are fake.) Here are 5 Actionable Twitter Tips to help you maintain your credibility on twitter.
- Build your trustworthiness on social media platforms. You can’t just show up and expect your audience to believe you. It takes on-going activity and engagement to build your following and credibility.
- Know your Twitter sources. Get to know the people you follow and interact with on Twitter so that you’re able to discern who’s who. (To help you, here are 24 guidelines to tweet by.)
- Take care when sharing breaking news. The analysis showed that malicious, fake Twitter accounts leveraged the desire of influential users to be at the forefront of news sharing. The findings revealed that many of the attributes of these phony accounts are easy to spot if you just take the time to check their Twitter profiles. How new are they to Twitter? Is their Twitter handle similar to the trending topic? Do they have links to their profiles on other social media and online platforms? Do they have more than a few followers? (Here are 20 ways to capitalize on breaking news.)
- Contribute only after you’ve verified the facts. Being an active social media participant means that you must be responsible and think beyond being the first one to share information. This means checking your facts before distributing breaking news.
- Be sensitive to the impact of your tweets. Think beyond your followers to the broader Twitterverse. Realize that your participation can have unintended consequences. Therefore, remember that social media implies social responsibility.
On Twitter, fake news tends to be more viral than the truth. Therefore it’s important to do your homework before sharing trending information