The Plank

Twitter Vindicated?

Andrew responds to my complaint, citing Joshua Kucera's fact-checking, about Twitter's accuracy. Score a point for Andrew/Twitter on the specific example about crowd sizes, although I'm still a Twitter skeptic. (My sense is that many other tweets have generated a lot more smoke than light--including one I saw a couple of days ago confidently predicting a phony assassination attempt on Ahmadinejad.) I suppose that so long as people take these reports with a grain of salt there's no great harm done. But for all the MSM's maddening flaws I do appreciate its (imperfect) standards of reporting and accuracy, and have been reacting in part to what feels like excessive MSM-bashing these past few days.

Ben Smith, meanwhile, offers some skepticism about Twitter's influence as an organizing tool.

On a less dissonant note, I do think the attention given to this story by bloggers (especially Andrew) has driven MSM coverage--particularly on the defensive cable networks--and in that sense the webby component to this story is real, although perhaps moreso outside of Iran than inside it.

--Michael Crowley

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