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Twitter news yet to gain popularity among traditional media

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London: Despite its growing popularity, half of the most popular news on micro-blogging site Twitter are still not being covered by traditional news media sources, researchers report. 9093733888_2fd4fc5bf0_o

To understand this, the team employed a new methodology that used Google news service which detects which “trending topics” appear in traditional media sources.

“Approximately half of the events included in ‘trending topics’ are also reported as news in the traditional media, while the other half are subjects that, despite attracting the attention of a large number of Twitter users, do not appear in the media,” the team noted.

The study also analysed who reports the news first, comparing the publication date of the “trending topics” on Twitter with the related stories that run in the country’s main dailies.

“If we look at the news that is reported by both sources, more than 60 percent of it appears first on Twitter, while less than 10 percent appears first in the traditional media (the rest usually appears the same day),” the researchers remarked.

That does not mean, they explained, that there is a “tweet” that contains news, but that the subject attracts the attention of a certain number of users to qualify for the category of “trending topic” on the social network.

The analysis focused on the “trending topics” of Twitter because they share some of the same characteristics as news, dealing with subjects that attract the attention of a large number of people.

“They are events that a large number of users are interested in and, in this regard, we can say that they are news items selected democratically by Twitter users in a country,” the researchers noted.

For the study, all the “trending topics” on Twitter were compiled from 35 countries over three months in 2013 and from over 62 countries over the same period in 2014.

In total, more than 300,000 “trending topics” generated in different countries and at different times were obtained.

“We found that the geographic dissemination of news on social networks preserves some of the biases present in the dissemination of traditional news, like the fact that it tends to flow more from rich countries to poor countries,” explained Ruben Cuevas, researcher from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M).

The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

(IANS)

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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Under Fire For Myanmar Tweets

Dorsey was seen posing with six female journalists in a picture on Twitter, with a poster in his hands carrying the offending anti-Brahmin message: 'Smash Brahminical Patriarchy'

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Twitter, India, Smartphone
Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey, who faces a lawsuit for hurting Hindu sentiments during his visit to India in November, now faces criticism for promoting Myanmar as a tourist destination despite widespread allegations of human rights abuses in the country.

In a series of tweets, Dorsey said he had travelled to northern Myanmar in November for a meditation retreat.

“The people are full of joy and the food is amazing,” he said, before encouraging his four million followers to visit.

This led to widespread criticism of the Twitter chief, some accused him of ignoring the plight of the Muslim Rohingya minority.

In 2017, Myanmar’s military launched a violent crackdown after Rohingya militants carried out attacks on several police posts. Thousands of people were killed, and human rights organisations said the army has burned land and committed arbitrary killings and rape.

“Writing what is effectively a free tourism advert for them at this time is reprehensible,” one Twitter user wrote in response to Dorsey’s tweets.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

“The tone-deafness here is… wow,” another user said. “This is an extremely irresponsible recommendation,” yet another reads. “Does he pay no attention to the news and the outcry on his own platform?”

The military crackdown had also sparked an exodus of more than 700,000 Rohingyas who have since fled to neighbouring Bangladesh to escape the violence and the destruction of their homes.

The UN has described the operation as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing” and says senior Myanmar officials should be investigated and tried for genocide.

Mohammed Jamjoom, an Al Jazeera correspondent, who has interviewed Rohingya refugees, said he was left “utterly speechless” by Dorsey’s tweets.

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Dorsey is yet to respond to the criticism, but earlier said he would track the responses to his tweets.

A court in Rajasthan on December 1, asked the police to file a First Information Report against Dorsey for hurting the sentiments of the Brahmin community by posing for a picture holding an anti-Brahmin message.

Dorsey was seen posing with six female journalists in a picture on Twitter, with a poster in his hands carrying the offending anti-Brahmin message: ‘Smash Brahminical Patriarchy’. (IANS)