As Sandy Storms Ashore, Some Tweets Become Unreliable Source of Information

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By Chris Ariens Comment

The great thing about Twitter: it’s a great way to communicate news as it happens. The bad thing about Twitter, that news may not have really happened. Around 9:30pm @CNNWeather sent a Tweet that the floor of the New York Stock Exchange had flooded. CNN’s Chad Myers told Piers Morgan: “I got that from the National Weather Service chat bulletin board.” Seems legit enough. But it wasn’t:

Earlier in the evening, a Dateline NBC associate producer took to Twitter to report windows at 30 Rockefeller Center, which is home to NBC News and MSNBC, had blown out:

That was retweeted again and again, so much so that CNN reported it as news in a lower third banner during the 10pm hour. There’s no confirmation that any windows at 30 Rock have blown out, and while it may turn out to be true, it seems there should be some more fact checking before going from one Twitter observation to a cable news network report.

> Update: We’ve confirmed one window on the 36th floor of 30 Rockefeller Center blew out.

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