mid-day editorial: 'Twittering' on the edge of trouble

Published: Nov 15, 2016, 09:26 IST | mid-day correspondent

Microblogging site Twitter, which is essentially used to express opinion and enhance interaction, has become a platform for debates and dissent

Microblogging site Twitter, which is essentially used to express opinion and enhance interaction, has become a platform for debates and dissent. In fact, it is now being looked at as the ideal medium to push forth an agenda.

Politicians, to garner maximum impact on an issue, are now harnessing its tremendous power and reach. Donald Trump, who has a massive Twitter following, recently attributed his big win to Twitter. He believes his rapid tweets were the key to defeating Hillary Clinton, who spent way more on others forms of advertising and promotions.

While the power of a tweet was best illustrated by Trump, it’s important to use the medium judiciously. With great power, comes ‘greater’ responsibility. There is a lesson in it for West Indies cricketer Darren Bravo, who has been sacked from the team for the Zimbabwe series for referring to the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) chairman Dave Cameron as “a big idiot”.

Cameron spoke about Bravo’s falling averages and below-average performance in an interview on a TV channel. In response, Bravo tweeted: “You hav been failing 4 d last 4yrs. Y don’t u resign and FYI I’ve neva been given an A contract. Big idiot @davec51 (sic).”

Bravo may or may not regret the tweet, that’s besides the point, but the action and it’s subsequent impact reflect how easily a tweet — maybe one posted in the heat of the moment or as a knee jerk reaction — can get people into big trouble. By nature, Twitter offers a quick and easy platform for people to vent their thoughts and views, but it can also act as a double-edged sword. It also invites loose comments from all and sundry, which may put a person, especially celebrities, in a tight spot. Let us sign off saying Handle (Twitter handle) with Care.

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