The Significant Information Source: Twitter | Daily Writeup | Opinions
The following article, “How is Twitter Turning Into One of the Most Significant Sources of Information?”, is written by Tooba Farooq, a student of Sir Syed Kazim Ali. Moreover, the article is written on the same pattern, taught by Sir to his students, scoring the highest marks in compulsory subjects for years. Sir Kazim has uploaded his students’ solved past paper questions so other thousands of aspirants can understand how to crack a topic or question, how to write relevantly, what coherence is, and how to include and connect ideas, opinions, and suggestions to score the maximum.
2-A bird’s eye view of Twitter usage worldwide
3-How is Twitter turning into one of the most significant sources of information?
- ✓Circulation of latest news and headlines
- Case in point: Ninety-four per cent of people on Twitter expressed interest in current events, as stated by the Twitter analytics in 2022
- ✓Dissemination of political information
- Case in point: The UK’s Brexit referendum in 2016 and the active use of Twitter
- ✓Spread of health information
- Case in point: Researchers posted pre-prints of research papers during the pandemic at sites, such as medRxiv, to inform people of recent discoveries and research to counter COVID-19.
- ✓Create environmental awareness
- Case in point: The UNFCCC and ministries’ of climate change and environment of each country have been playing their roles in providing accurate information to the masses regarding environmental degradation.
- ✓Transmission of fashion information
- Case in point: With over 150 million views of live-streamed fashion events on Twitter in 2020, the year when in-person events were impossible due to the Covid-19 lockdown
- ✓Propagate information regarding healthy lifestyle
- Case in point: “Wellness conservations have seen an eighty-four per cent increase year-over-year on Twitter,” according to the Twitter analytics
4-Why do some people believe Twitter is not a reliable source of information?
- ✓Circulation of misinformation
- Case in point: Fake news on Twitter during the 2016 presidential election in the USA
- ✓Increase in the number of fake Twitter users
- Case in point: According to the Twitter’s official data for 2023, “19.42 per cent of active Twitter accounts are either fake or spam.”
5-Suggestions to counter the spread of misinformation on Twitter
- ✓To obtain authentic information by following official accounts of organizations
- ✓To report misinformation
- ✓To implement a strictly fact-checking warning label policy
Answer to the Question
Social media has become the primary source of information acquisition in today’s globalized world. Indeed, online platforms allow people to create, share, and exchange content in the virtual community, boosting socialization among each other. Like all others, Twitter, now called ‘X’, is a social media networking and micro-blogging service from which users share short messages called ‘Tweets’. According to the Twitter database, “There are around 353 million active users of Twitter,” which shows the validity of the platform’s popularity. Speaking directly about Twitter as the best platform providing valuable information in the blink of an eye, it has made life easier in the twenty-first century by disseminating news about the world’s happenings. Furthermore, it provides first-hand political, health, environmental, and fashion information. Although critics believe Twitter is responsible for spreading misinformation, it has always disseminated political, environmental and health information. This article explains how Twitter has become one of the most significant sources of information.
Before exploring how Twitter is becoming the most significant source of information, it is essential to understand how many people use it and for what purpose. In fact, Twitter, launched in 20226, has been used by millions of people to educate people on various topics. According to some estimates, there are around 353 million active users by the end of 2023, which include 56.4 per cent males and 43.6 per cent females. Most of Twitter’s users are from the United States, spending an average of an hour checking news updates, fashion trends, healthy lifestyle tips, and much more. Thus, Twitter, a platform used by millions of people, is one of the most significant sources of information in this era, helping millions of people with bright future.
Moving ahead analyzing the maxim how is Twitter turning into one of the most significant sources of information, people do not have time to obtain news from traditional media platforms in the ever-evolving world. In this regard, Twitter is a real-time news feed for them. It serves as a window into what’s happening in the world. Ninety-four per cent of people on Twitter expressed interest in current events, as stated by Twitter analytics in 2022. Furthermore, about fifty-five per cent of people on Twitter get their news from Twitter, more than other social media platforms. Twitter has always provided news when traditional journalists fail to do so. When the traditional media outlets were unable to give details about the Israel war, Palestinian Twitter users came up with the actual on-ground reality and exposed the brutal face of Israel to the world. The hashtags, such as #IsraelTerrorist and #FreePalestine remained trending, illustrating Twitter is a powerful source of propagation of news.
Further, Twitter offers political information to people in the contemporary era. Almost all political leaders and political parties worldwide have Twitter handles to stay connected to their people. Evidently, Twitter has played a decisive role in the presidential election in the USA 2016; the Twitter polls before the elections made it clear who would win. The people get a chance to interact with their leaders and get a say in the country’s decision-making. So, the UK’s Brexit referendum 2016 and informative use of Twitter are glaring examples of Twitter providing political information to its users, proving the maxim’s truth.
In addition, Twitter has been a source of health information for everyone. Undoubtedly, it is a platform widely used by scientists and healthcare professionals to disseminate biomedical scientific information. For instance, Twitter was the primary source of information during the COVID-19 pandemic, as governments used it to announce the latest information about the number of cases and hospitalizations. The health care professionals used it to create awareness in people regarding the pandemic. Moreover, researchers have posted pre-prints of research papers during the pandemic at sites, such as medRx to inform people about recent discoveries and research to counter COVID-19. Thus, Twitter has been disseminating health information among masses, globally.
Similarly, Twitter has played a pivotal role in creating environmental awareness for all people. It has been a dissemination channel of carbon information. Almost five million environmentally oriented users are discussing topics, such as biodiversity conservation, climate change and environmental policy preferences, spreading information, and mobilizing public ecological interest. The official Twitter handles of international organizations such as UNFCCC and ministries’ of climate change and the environment of each country have been playing their roles in providing accurate information to the masses regarding environmental degradation. So, Twitter has been a source of providing environmental information.
Adding more to it, Twitter has also revolutionized the fashion industry. With over 150 million views of live-streamed fashion events on Twitter in 2020, the year when in-person events were impossible due to the Covid lockdown, According to Twitter’s official data for 2022, almost seventy-nine per cent of total users follow brands to get fashion updates. As a result, famous brands, such as Louis Vuitton and Chanel, disseminate fashion information to their followers by revealing their latest collection via Twitter. Therefore, Twitter has been a means of imparting the latest fashion trends to the public.
Last but not least, Twitter is a source of propagating a healthy lifestyle among people of all ages. Wellness conservations have seen an eighty-four per cent increase year-over-year on Twitter, according to Twitter analytics. Now, people are actively using Twitter to discuss health concerns. Moreover, the fitness brand, having a team of registered dietitians, nutritionists, and physicians, uses Twitter to enlighten people regarding nutrition and fitness by addressing the most pressing fitness and health-related questions. Hence, Twitter is a source of providing information about healthy lifestyles.
However, a school of thought believes that misinformation spreads faster than information on Twitter. Despite strict policies to fight misinformation and false allegations, Twitter is trying hard to deliver hundred per cent authentic information on health, war, politics and safety, which has not yet been achieved. For instance, the circulation of fake news on Twitter during the 2016 presidential election in the USA illustrates that fake news spreads like fire. Twitter management is proactively trying to counter misinformation and will soon be successful.
The drastic increase in the number of fake users on Twitter is another concern that needs to be addressed. According to Twitter’s official data for 2023, 19.42 per cent of active Twitter accounts are fake or spam. Therefore, these fake Twitter accounts are the leading culprits behind the spread of misinformation, misleading trends and hashtags. The administration of Twitter has implemented strict rules and regulations to curb fake users, but they are continuously increasing. These issues need to be addressed as soon as possible to make it an authentic source of information.
As every problem has a solution, users can obtain authentic information from Twitter by adopting some measures. First, it can be possible by following the official accounts of organizations and not sharing misleading posts. For this, the people should be get awared via education polls and awareness messages. Second, people must report misinformation and hold misleaders accountable. In this way, those who misuses it always get beware about the misuse of digital democracy power. Lastly, strictly implementing a fact-check labelling policy will also prove helpful in this regard. By doing so, the bot accounts will be closed and tracked easily by all stakeholders. Thus, the issues of misinformation and spam users can be solved by following the abovementioned methods.
In conclusion, Twitter is becoming the most important source of information, but the misinformation crisis must be addressed to make it an authentic source for a common man. Indeed, Twitter, a platform with millions of daily active users, gives users data related to social, economic, political, and environmental domains, and much more. However, the credibility of Twitter’s data is yet an unaddressed question. However, Twitter’s administration is also anxiously working to make it the most reliable source of information.
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