Deconstructing “the Twitter revolution”

Hamid Tehrani of Global Voices gives a sober assessment of the role of Twitter in the Iranian election protests. One of the issues he raises is the temptation to relay breaking news without verifying it. The open source Ushahidi project, which was initially developed to aggregate and map reports of violence following the Kenyan elections in 2007/8, has proposed crowdsourced filtering to deal with this problem. However, the question remains, how can the people aggregating and filtering first-hand reports determine what’s true? Does citizen journalism still require a layer of professional editors, experts and fact-checkers, or can all these functions be shared among the crowd?

2 Responses to “Deconstructing “the Twitter revolution””

  1. Neal Lathia says:

    I wonder- how do the real experts and fact checkers go about their job? There have certainly been cases of them getting things wrong/relying on what other news sites are reporting, and the question seems to be whether the crowds can be just as good. In the case of people proactively spreading misinformation, I’m not sure..

    However, one advantage that the crowd have is that they are not just relaying news, but also digital content that relates to that news (e.g. videos), which is proof in and of itself..

    On a side note – whether or not twitter deserves the nobel peace prize, though, is something else…(techcrunch story here: http://tinyurl.com/naywfg )

  2. Harvard Berkam Center recently posted map+paper of iran’s blogosphere
    http://tiny.cc/vys5u