LA Times Twitter Blooper Declares Prop 8 Overturned

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Just because it's being tweeted, doesn't mean it's true.

    What happens when bad information hits the Twittersphere?

    It becomes bad information moving at the speed of tweet. Thousands of Twitterers armed with "RT" and some @ symbols can move bad information before anyone really has a chance to fact check, and on Friday that's what happened.

    An outdated story from the Los Angeles Times declaring Proposition 8 overturned was tweeted and then retweeted and then retweeted some more.

    The Times article in question was originally published on May 16, 2008. Yet, Proposition 8 -- the ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage in California -- wasn't passed until November 2008.

    You can see the problem here.

    "This incident highlights a downside of Twitter. While it's great at disseminating information quickly, it's just as good at disseminating false information quickly. And if a lot of people are saying it -- as thousands are here -- it must be true, right? Wrong," says MG Siegler on TechCrunch.

    Siegler notes that the LA Times started the whole mess by tweeting a link to the story earlier in the day. It has since been retracted via the newspaper's Twitter account:

    FTR note: Earlier [removed] tweet linked to a May 16, 2008 Prop 8 story + does not reflect any new news. Original story http://bit.ly/hhwEg

    The whole mess is giving us flashbacks to a Google News incident that a certain airline would like to forget.