Here’s what Journalism would lose if Twitter disappeared


If Twitter really were to disappear, which is highly unlikely (but anything is possible), here is what Journalism would lose, and more.
From the latest reports, it appears that Twitter’s Bing Bang is coming. The Washington Post has now established that Musk is literally opening the gates of Hell. The reference, almost Dante-like, is to the new owner’s initiative to rehabilitate those accounts that had been suspended for spam.
Platformer speaks of 62 thousand accounts with more than 10 thousand followers and there is one account, others say more than one, with more than 5 million followers. A situation that could actually put a strain on the already few remaining employees within the company.
And yet, Elon Musk continues his narrative that this is the highest moment of Twitter use in history. With increasing engagement and over 2 million new accounts per day. Without providing actual sources.
Numbers that are partly explained by Musk’s initiatives to rehabilitate accounts suspended in various capacities, initiatives that continue to turn the noses of many users of the platform.
A necessary premise this, because our focus is actually another.

Assuming that Twitter really is not in danger of disappearing, at least for the time being, and assuming that Elon Musk really does not intend to antagonize Apple, and then Google, we have wondered, and we are sure we are not the only ones, what would happen to journalism if Twitter really was no more.
As we have said many times (and repeat every Friday at 6:30 p.m. on Twitter Spaces) it is difficult for Twitter to be replicated, despite the many alternatives that are emerging, rightly so at this time.
And that is why it is fair to ask what journalism would miss if Twitter really disappeared.
Nieman Lab, Harvard’s project for journalism, tried to line up some of the elements we drew on.
Meanwhile, there would be a lack of real-time news flow. And when we say “real time,” we mean it in the literal sense of the word. Almost always, Twitter is where the news is shared and takes more and more shape as the minutes go by. For more than 10 years now, Twitter has been the platform for real-time news. Just think of how journalists, bloggers, and influencers are chronicling, and explaining, on Twitter the way Elon Musk uses the platform to communicate the two ideas and decisions, with screenshots featured. But examples could be given endlessly.
If Twitter disappeared, it would lack the role in which to quickly find sources and research. This platform is used er share analysis and research results, valuable data for journalists and all those who are in the business of informing accurately by providing factual data. The platform, as we know, provides access to scholarly sources in the mode that other platforms could not provide.
Although a few weeks ago we warned about the use of DMs in relation to sharing sensitive data due to the fact that the mode is not yet equipped with E2E (end-to-end) encryption although perhaps it will be soon, private messages on Twitter are a formidable mode of direct contact.
When you want to contact some character to explore a specific topic, the DM mode becomes almost faster than sending an e-mail. Then better not to share the phone number there. But it certainly becomes a very quick mode.
Another interesting feature of Twitter, which we would risk not having anymore, is the ability to offer a more or less complete, and more or less up-to-date, view of the person you are looking for. We could say that Twitter represents a true directory, a folder where there are all the links of the people we are looking for. Almost better than LinkedIn (and many will turn their noses up at that).
And then, if Twitter were to disappear you would lose, as we were partly saying earlier, that real-time storytelling, that mode of sharing, of storytelling, precisely in real time, that is difficult to have, and to achieve, on other platforms. This is a valuable mode for journalists as well as for bloggers and for all those who want to inform. Telling through tweets what is happening at that moment, in that given place while everyone potentially affected cannot be there. That storytelling, supported by a hashtag to bring to life a dedicated stream of information, with images and/or video, makes that mode unique.
Here, think of a government press conference, the telling of a major sporting event, the telling of a major cultural event, or simply the real-time telling of something that is happening at that absolutely unexpected moment.
Think also about social media events, how many moments of knowledge and expertise shared with people who follow you and who through that sharing have learned something more.
If Twitter were to disappear, all of that would also disappear. For journalists and beyond.

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