Monday, 2 July 2012

Why You Shouldn't Believe Everything You Read On Twitter

Euros are over and Transfer window is now officially open! Exciting times, isn't it. Especially, for a fan. Many players are being linked to their club. And even if none sign, in the end, at least we can go wild with our imaginations. Example: Chelsea Avengers. Should I say any more?

Like every other fan, this fan/ Blueger (find out out what Blueger is here) has been more than just curious on our club's prospective signings. Been very religious in unearthing that bit of story that could send me along with other Blues to the Moon. In one of those attempts, I ended up on a site that was reporting "Liverpool hijack Chelsea bid".

Naturally, I was intrigued by a catchy headline (great journalism there, by the way). As a result, I had to read more to discover which player was hijacked now, from Chelsea.

Past few years Chelsea has been on the receiving end in the transfer market as well in the EPL standings. Rival fans could say "What goes around comes around." I personally can't find fault with that statement, because Chelsea has been in fact guilty of 'hijacks' (enter: Mikel).

Well, us and them could say, "The joke is on you mate!" Having started off badly in the DM role, Mikel is beginning to excel there. But that is an entirely different topic and one that we could go on debating it till the end of time. So let's leave that for the time being.

Now back to the main story. If you are still wondering which player was hijacked by Liverpool, the answer is Stevan Jovetic. 007

This is what the sub-heading of the story was: (link to the story here published at 11:27:04+00:00, July 1, 2012)
Liverpool are reported to have pipped Chelsea to the signing of Fiorentina striker Stevan Jovetic after agreeing a £22m fee.
As always once I finished reading the story, I wanted to tear my hair out (whatever is left of my receding hairline). Reasons: there was no source quoted in the story, no links given, no officials were quoted, nothing substantial that could actually make you believe in it. Again, disappointed about internet 'journalism'.

Unlike my standard browsing pattern, I scrolled down to the comments section. As usual, there were fans who were ecstatic about the transfer news and others who were irate. And that is where I found gold.

In the comments section, at first, I saw a link to the Liverpool site. They were running this story in their rumors section. That prompted certain fans to believe in this story. Here is the link.

Nothing special there, they had a disclaimer on the page that read "This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club."

So I went back to comments section and saw another comment that rubbished all the claims. That user was kind enough to let others know the actual source of the story. Apparently, it originated from a twitter account. Following the breadcrumbs, I ended up on the Liverpool fan's timeline. And found my diamond there.

At first look, one gets a feeling that it's a legitimate tweet. Mirrors a lot of other tweeps who claim to be 'In The Know'. It was tweeted at 11:51:52 PM, UTC, on 30 June 2012, roughly 9 minutes before transfer window officially opened. However, you will be cracking up once you see the next few series of tweets.

If you check his/her timeline, you will find hundreds if not thousands of RTs about "Jovetic to Liverpool". Moreover, a lot of other tweeps were passing that tweet as their own. No crediting the source, no mention, no RT, nothing. Plain old plagiarism.

I could go on and on about how we should not trust the 'news' that goes around on the web. To be honest, I've fallen for it many times myself, still do and will continue to. Can't help it as a fan. So instead of analyzing this event and preach on it, I'll let the tweets do the talking.

On a slightly different note, had people credited the source, this rumor may have died in its roots and the 'reputation' of all the big shots, with inside information, would not have been tarnished.

Ha! Power of Twitter. Like some one once said, "With great power comes great responsibility." Use it wisely people.

Have any of you, fellow fans, been victims. Please share your stories.


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