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Jacology: Twitter Issues

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(KPLR) – In Thursday's Jacology, Charles Jaco ponders the perils of the twitterverse.

I'm a big fan of Twitter. If you subscribe to the right people and right organizations, having Twitter is like having a newsroom in your pocket. But since the world is full of both idiots and computer hackers, Twitter can be interesting to say the least.

Twitter was invaluable the night Osama bin Ladin was killed. That's because some Pakistani guy who happens to live in that town tweeted words to the effect of, what's going on? Lots of helicopters, gunshots and explosions. Maybe there’s some sort of military drill going on. No, it was not a drill.

But then there were a couple of other incidents where the twitterverse didn’t exactly cover itself with glory. During the Boston bombing rampage, several people who should have known better tweeted the names of possible suspects straight off the police scanner. Number one, the names all turned out to be completely wrong, and number two, as any cop reporter will tell you, you never ever, ever go on the air with what you hear over the scanner. That’s because it’s probably wrong.

Then earlier this week, somebody hacked the Associated Press Twitter account and falsely reported that a couple of bombs had gone off at the White House and that President Obama had been injured. That sent the stock market plummeting, wiping out entire fortunes and retirement accounts, until the error was caught and the market corrected.

All of this proving just one thing, that before you write anything or read anything on social media, take a deep breath first and think. That alone will solve a lot of problems.

I'm Charles Jaco and that's Jacology.

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Email: charles.jaco@tvstl.com