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A look into just how the Associated Press Twitter page was the host of one of the most retweeted posts in the short history of Twitter

By Lory Martinez

This is how we read the news in 2013: click “Refresh feed.”

It’s no surprise that when the Associated Press Twitter page was hacked this afternoon, the fake news went viral with over 4,000 retweets before it was taken down.

A number of tweets concerning a fictional white-house bombing in which the president was badly injured were posted around 1 p.m. today resulting in a temporary market plunge and a lot of tension in newsrooms across the country. 

Twitter suspended the account once it was clear the wire had been hacked.

Over 2 million people subscribe to the AP Twitter page. In what has been called the”New age of Journalism,”news organizations have used Twitter as a way to provide readers with live, up-to-the-minute information. 

The fact that people retweeted this and spread false news to the degree that the markets were affected is a frightening thing. One can imagine what would have happened if the White House Twitter page was hacked as well. We would be in chaos! People would be running around like chickens with their heads cut off. All because someone, somewhere hacked Twitter to cause mischief.

It’ll certainly be something to keep an eye on in coming years,

In the meantime I imagine books will be written about this phenomenon…”The effects of social media on the events of human history” or “The internet, and other things that almost killed us in the 2010s…” I’d  definitely read those.

Some food for thought from The Media Review.

Don’t forget to check out WHRWfm.org at 4 p.m. tomorrow for some more media chatter.

 

 

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