Twitter News Is Fast, But Not Always News

The news whipped around the Twittersphere, buoyed by the micro-blogging service’s ultra-viral speed: Jared Fogel, the famed Subway spokesman, was dead. That’s what eating all that Subway will do to you. Except that he wasn’t dead.

The rumor gained added legitimacy Wednesday morning from Kevin Rose, founder of Digg, who posted a Tweet pouring out some virtual liquor for Fogel. Rose has about 47,000 following his Twitter messages, which spread the news like wildfire.

Rose had taken the bait from Jaredremembered.com, a realistic-looking hoax site.

Twitter has been recognized for its ability to spread breaking news quickly. Recently news broke quickly on Twitter about the earthquake in China. Many journalists have signed on, at the very least to find out about breaking news. But like news sources on the Web at large, what you see is not always what you get.

“It wasn’t anything personal against Fogel,” the creator of the fake site said.

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