making sense of social

Does Mainstream Media get Twitter? The Express clearly don’t

The Expresses confuses following for followers.Not a day goes past without some mainstream media post about Twitter. It really is the poster child for social media. But, how many people in mainstream media really get it? As in enough to know the difference between the number of people a user follower, and the number or people that follow that user? Apparently not. The Express today has an article today arguing that the BBC is wasting time updating accounts that no one is following UPDATE: The Express used to have an article, but they have since removed it. And in true old school style, they’ve not admitted they made a mistake. The Google cache is still available here. (thanks to Keely for spotting this)

The BBC Radio 2 site, which gathers messages, or “tweets”, from presenters such as Chris Evans, Jonathan Ross and Alan Carr, has no followers. The BBC Radio 5 Live site, run by presenter Victoria Derbyshire, has just two.

The mistake they made was to confuse followers with following. Both accounts have follower counts in the thousands. It’s a really bad mistake that a major newspaper should have noticed. Especially when the article was written by TWO journalists. This fundamental lack of knowledge is concering. Two journalists writing for a newspaper clearly don’t have enough knowledge of Twitter to know the difference, which is concerning in and of itself. But the fact they didn’t even bother to research it properly? Unforgivable. UPDATE: What’s even worse is that whilst they clearly recognise that they have made a mistake, instead of admitting this and apologising they have simply removed the article, showing a fundamental lack of knowledge about social media. You can’t just make a mistake and try to ignore it by deleting things any more. Especially not in the era of Google Cache. Thankfully it is not indicative of all mainstream media. The BBC, which, contrary the Expresses clearly bias article, actually uses Twitter very well, with different accounts for different types of content. What do you think, do you know of any of cases of the mainstream media just not getting it?


About the author

This post was written by Mike Phillips

Plannery type person with silly side projects. Not to be trusted.

Follow them on twitter: @imjustmike

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