BREAKING NEWS: Twitter doesn’t always equal truth

The Rockets firing Kevin McHale broke on Twitter. News of the football match between Germany and The Netherlands being evacuated broke on Twitter. Peyton Manning being benched minutes after breaking a record was endlessly discussed on the platform.

These three sports news stories as well as many others broke throughout the week on Twitter. Most of the stories were discussed before ESPN even had the chance to start covering the events.

Twitter has the ability to send out breaking news in a matter of seconds from practically anywhere in the world. Within an instant, someone thousands of miles away can find out about Rob Ryan being fired before the Saints have time to confirm or deny the report.

While the platform is great for connecting millions quickly and easily, Twitter users are notorious for reporting incorrect news. Earlier this week, someone reported Rob Ryan had been fired from the Saints. Later in a press conference, head coach Sean Payton announced Ryan still in fact had a job with the team. At the end of the day, the Saints officially fired Ryan.

Events like these cause many to question the authenticity of Twitter. Anyone in the sports world can break the news that so-and-so had been fired and as a result, cause an uproar.

On Wednesday, journalists began tweeting that head coach Charlie Strong had called an impromptu press conference. Immediately, everyone questioned whether Strong was stepping down immediately and hopping on the next flight to Miami.

Some accounts even tweeted Strong had resigned at the press conference. However, Strong only announced the status of an injured player and mentioned he was committed to rebuilding Texas football.

Twitter makes us feel like we know everything going on in the sports industry before everyone else. The platform makes us feel special. However, where do we draw the line in deciding when to tweet true facts or when to tweet something just for retweets regardless of its authenticity?


Author: sportswille

Reformed ad agency guy. Sac Kings, PGA Tour, Pebble Beach, Aspen yielded fascination with sports business. Now teach at my alma mater, University of Texas Austin: Integrated Marketing, Social Media, Business and Law and Sports Audiences. 40 year streak of single digit handicap under severe pressure.

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