In the United States, Social networks are the first communication and information tools.
Some may think, that access to information is still taken from television, radio, news stations, or newspapers and magazines. But the truth is that all of the above is beginning to fade.
In the age of the social media paradigm, traditional media is having a concern. According to studies, 80% of the 4 billion internet users worldwide, are active on the new tools of the social web.
Twitter, and Facebook are considered sources of information for 63% of users, of these networks in the USA. According to a study by the Pew Research Center entitled “The Evolving Role of News on Twitter and Facebook.”
Faced with this attraction to the Internet, conventional media, are mechanically losing speed. In the United States, eating breakfast while reading a daily newspaper has almost become, a reflex of the past.
Today, social networks surpass print newspapers as the main source of information.
Currently, Twitter is one of the most dynamic services, on the global internet. It represents more than 321 million users worldwide in 2019. It’s an original service at the crossroads of several functions: social network, micro-blogging, recommendation and link sharing, chat, professional network etc.
With its formality and directness, Twitter made the masses, flock to it very heavily, even decision-makers, politicians, companies, governments. And private institutions were forced to have an official presence on it.
So how does Twitter function?
Twitter was originally just an extremely stripped-down and easy-to-use social network. It was born in 2006, from the desire of Biz Stone and Jack Dorsey, to know in real time what their friends were doing.
To begin, you have to go on Twitter.com and create an account. As with any registration on a social network, you are asked for a name a first name. A mobile phone number or email must be provided to receive a validation code to activate your account.
Twitter allows, its members to publish on their personal page (timeline) short messages (140 characters maximum). Accessible to all followers, (A follower refers to someone who subscribes to your posts). While following the feeds produced by the different users (This refers to the number of Twitter followers you follow).
In addition, to this basic functionality. Many more or less sophisticated ones are available: address, a direct message to a member of the network, (direct message); retransmit messages from other users (retweet); create, track and Share Account Lists ; Advanced Search, etc.
The media today, are increasingly using this tool that is extremely responsive to current events, as a source of information and testimonies.
Alecia Swasy, an American journalism professor, who worked for a long time, at The Wall Street Journal. Studied for two years how journalists, use Twitter and published the results of her research in a book, untitled ‘How Journalists Use Twitter: The Changing Landscape of U.S. Newsrooms.
The 50 journalists interviewed say the early reticence dissipated when Twitter proved it could be useful in gathering information. A Dallas reporter explains, to Alecia Swasy. How he uses the social network to find sources and capturing conversations around information, by typing keywords into the search bar
Another example, is that of David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold), a reporter at The “Washington Post”. Who used Twitter for an investigation into Donald Trump’s donations.
A reader drew, his attention to an oil painting that the candidate bought with money from his foundation. He had even offered to send him, a picture of the canvas. David Fahrenthold then published an article: “Trump bought a portrait of him with the money from his foundation.”
How to use Twitter as a news source?
Twitter, is not a social tool, it is an information network, ” said Evan Williams, the site’s president, at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco in October 2010.
News is obtained, through two things: either following certain individuals, (journalists, writers, analysts). Or following certain official media channels and newspapers.
Twitter’s, notoriety among the general public, and the media had indeed been built from the coverage of current events and “scoops” that its users have produced.
For example, Twitter users, reported on the spot on the terrorist attacks. In Bombay (November 2008) and the urban riots in Greece (December 2008).
Twitter, was also the first, to announce and share a photo of the emergency landing of a US Airways plane. on the Hudson River in New York (January 2009) posted by a Twitter user.
But it was with the June 2009, Iranian presidential election that the full effectiveness of Twitter as a news media, was established: Twitter, one of the few media uncensored by the Iranian regime, was used by opponents to communicate with outside the country, and show the extent of mobilization and repression — such militant use had already been observed in Africa (Mäkinen & Kuira, 2008).
In the United States, the importance of Twitter, as a means of spreading news emerged in 2008, during the presidential election campaign.
These events were an opportunity to highlight the advantages of Twitter: speed of information dissemination; almost real-time coverage from the place where “it happens” through the use of mobile phones; dissemination of multimedia content through associated services, and the inability of the authorities to censor information, flows passing through Twitter unless they block access to the Internet.
There are several ways to follow news on Twitter :
- Scroll through your timeline and from there, you can click through to read a story in full. You can participate in spreading a news story by retweeting it for your followers to see or tweeting a response.
- You can be more dynamic, and proactive in finding news by searching for a hashtag or by following an account that’s tweeting regularly about a particular story.
- You can also find or search for trends, which are tailored to your location, interests, and who you follow. Trends are listed along with your timeline, on the site or in the trends section of the Explore tab on the mobile app.
unfortunatley in recent years, fake news have become Legion on social networks and Twitter is particularly affected by the scourge. Despite numerous attempts to stem this content, the social network remains overwhelmed. Difficult to maintain objectivity when tweets (comments). Are coming from the president of the United States or other known political figures.
But on June 28, 2019, Twitter decided to act in the face of it’s sometimes, problematic tweets in the political milieu. The social network wants to set up half-censorship. Thus, the reader will be notified when confronted with a tweet that violates the rules of twitter. The reader must first authorize the reading of the tweet in order to override this half censorship
“Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and may be misleading,” the warning will read. That label will also appear prominently above the tweet, once users click past the warning screen.
It will be difficult for such tweets to spread and Users, won’t be allowed to reply to them or retweet without adding comment. And the tweets will not be recommended by Twitter’s algorithms, which means users won’t see them in their main timelines.