Earlier a rumor began floating around Twitter that CNN had suspended Piers Morgan. Immediately journalists tweeted and retweeted the news, because media people always love being the first (or close to first) to report something. Now that the rumor has been proved false, those same journalists are backtracking – none more ridiculously than Reuters’ financial blogger Felix Salmon.
While some people who tweeted the rumor – such as Anthony De Rosa – went the right route and simply apologized for the error, Salmon took to his blog and basically said it’s okay for journalists to tweet false information:
…One of the things I like about Twitter is that it behaves in many ways a lot more like a newsroom than a newspaper. Rumors happen there, and then they get shot down — no harm no foul.
He adds that because the false information doesn’t come from a professional account, it’s all good. But it’s not. People obviously make mistakes, but to tweet something wrong and then say, “Oh, well it’s fine” when people follow you because you’re supposed to be a credible news source, is wrong.
If Salmon doesn’t want that responsibility placed on his account, he should remove “Felix Salmon is the finance blogger at Reuters” from his Twitter bio. Until then people are going to give more weight to what he tweets, whether he likes it or not.