If you are at least 25 years old, you would remember the days when everyone is trying to expedite the speed of information transfer. Messages began with the courier services, first by horse, then by car. Then they went digital. The internet began with dial-up, when 56kbps was deemed state of the art, then broadband. Then we decided that having to sit in front of a computer to transmit data is too slow.
Back then, when you get a wrong piece of information, it was usually because of timeliness. Timely data was the business of newspapers, radios, and later television.
At some point, the speed of data transmission became near-instantaneous.
We had thought that faster information means better, but it may come at a cost. Rapid information is raw, and sometimes inaccurate. This is a common occurrence, but like car crashes relative to plane crashes, what made Twitter newsworthy is the few times when it nailed the right information seconds after an event, not the hundreds of thousands of times when it misfires.
Like breathing air, bad information has become so commonplace in Twitter and blogs that inaccuracy is invisible to us – we easily process the concept and underlying logic behind why rapid information is sometimes inaccurate, we just don’t think about it often.
And yes, I am aware of the hypocritical nature of using a blog post to divulge this argument. As it turns out, the burden of verification is on you; I’m just exercising my first amendment rights. 🙂