All Atwitter

Phil Plait has an interesting report on the recent Texas fireball. His account gives a pretty good picture of the epidemiology of rumor. “Within a few minutes I had a post up and tweeted about it myself. I started to receive dozens of tweets over the next hour (I’m not sure how many total, but probably well over 100) with information. After an hour or so the misinformation (FAA officials, satellite debris, etc.) started coming in. Someone posted on iReport their own description, and added a photo of a totally different event as an example, and at least ten tweets referred to it as the actual Texas fireball. ”

Just the same, Phil thinks that having twitter and other social media such as blogs enabled him to investigate the event quite thoroughly. Although he would have preferred a more durable medium for incoming information, “Between the blog and Twitter I think this went pretty well, with a minimum of bad information being spread.”

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