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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)

Next Story

Twitter Testing a New Feature Called ‘Hide Replies’

A Twitter user can also hide replies that attempt to correct misinformation or offer a fact check

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FILE - A man reads tweets on his phone in front of a displayed Twitter logo. VOA

You will soon be able to hide replies in the conversation thread on Twitter that are offensive, hateful or racist in nature. The micro-blogging platform is testing a feature called “Hide Replies”, beginning with users in Canada which will be rolled out globally.

It is not the equivalent of a delete button but hides replies behind an icon.

If your followers still want to see the hidden replies, they can press the icon and view those.

“We’re testing a feature to hide replies from conversations. This experience will be available for everyone around the world, but at this time, only people in Canada can hide replies to their tweets,” Twitter Support posted late on Wednesday.

“They’ll be hidden from the main conversation for everyone behind a new icon. As long as it hasn’t been deleted and/or is not from an account with protected tweets, everyone can still interact with a hidden reply by clicking the icon to view,” it added.

Twitter CEO
This April 26, 2017, photo shows the Twitter app icon on a mobile phone in Philadelphia. VOA

The aim, said Twitter, is to have healthy conversations on its platform.

There is, however, a downside to the feature.

“For example, a user could choose to hide replies that simply disagreed with their views. This would then create a ‘filter bubble’ where only people who shared the original poster’s same opinion would have their comments prominently displayed,” reports Tech Crunch.

Also Read: Cyber Criminals Attack Nearly 10,000 Microsoft Customers

A Twitter user can also hide replies that attempt to correct misinformation or offer a fact check.

However, for Twitter, “transparency is important to us — that’s why we’re hiding the replies behind an icon where they can still be accessed. We want to give tweet authors control over their conversations, but in a way that’s open”. (IANS)