Today's article on Ashton Kutcher and his Twitter issues regarding Joe Pa raised an interesting question. Is Twitter no longer the place for naive meanderings about whatever news or gossip you wanted to share, accurate or not, and now simply a marketing tool? How many times have we made a comment about something without knowing all the facts? I can raise my hand and certainly so can Ashton. No one said that all gossip and information was true. Ashton made comments about the Penn State coach and then retracted them once he was more informed. In the world of Twitter, shouldn't that be no harm no foul. Apparently not.
According to Ashton, “When I started using twitter, it was a communication platform that people could say what they were thinking in real time and if their facts were wrong the community would quickly and helpfully reframe an opinion. It was a conversation, a community driven education tool, and opinion center that encouraged healthy debate. It seems that today that twitter has grown into a mass publishing platform, where ones tweets quickly become news that is broadcast around the world and misinformation becomes volatile fodder for critics.” It reminds me of the SNL commercial parody about a bank who's business was making change. When asked how they made money, the answer was simple, "Volume".
But in the business world and with Twitter, volume is not enough; a business runs on revenue and that is the Twitter mission. With such a wide audience, it is no longer possible to be wrong without it reaching epic proportions. So Ashton learned the age old wisdom "to look before you leap". Twitter makes it too easy to leap first and say whatever is on your mind. But that is not always a good thing and this lesson may affect more than just Ashton and his tweets. Twitter's prosperity relies on being a marketing tool and not a place for mindless rants.