The Meedan Blog Archive

10 questions to ask when adding Twitter Streams to your Iran List

If you want to use Twitter to monitor what is going on in Iran today as opposition protesters once again come onto the streets, it's vital you have tools for knowing who's worth to listen to.

The potential for fake reporters to distribute disinformation is huge.  We take this seriously at Meedan.

This time around some mainstream outlets appear to be avoiding Twitter as a source altogether.  That could mean some hard thinking has gone on inside big media organizations.

Reporting false information is as big a no, no as you can find in the traditional world of journalism.

But Twitter's real time zing had outlets like the Huffington Post and The Guardian in a bind: ignoring the demand for live updates makes you seem stale; posting too many live updates undermines your ability to fact check.

One option is to use YouTube, opposition websites and your own contacts on the ground as your source of information from Iran.  Another is to use better tools for filtering out the noise, which is the motivation behind Swift.

Into this comes Twitter lists - surely a good start to tackling the filtering conundrum.

You can collate sets of trusted users into one stream.

So, at Meedan we have been busy today building an Iran Feed Twitter list with  users worth listening to.

Much of this comes down to a discussion we'll be having today on IRC (foonetic #meedan 17GMT) - how do you establish credibility in the real time cross-language web?

This issue is about listening, but also about our own actions too (how we Retweet, how we distribute news etc.).

So to start things off - here is a short list of questions we should be asking as we add Twitter Streams to our Iran Feed Twitter List.

1- What is the reported location of the Twitter Stream?

2- Is the Twitter Stream using Farsi or a local language?

3- How long has the Twitter Stream account been up and running?

4- How many followers does the Twitter Stream have? How many is it following? How many lists is it on?

5- Who is Retweeting this Twitter Stream?  Who is the Twitter Stream Retweeting?

6- Is the Twitter Stream openly political? What does the profile say?

7- Is the Twitter Stream reporting other users without citation?

8- How often is this Twitter Stream updated?

9- What content is this Twitter Stream reporting? Is it strongly opinionated or dispassionate and factual?

10- Does the Twitter Stream include links to an individual blog, Flickr or Twitpic account, or secondary social media presence?

Comments on this post

2011-01-30 20:16:22 -0800
[...] that can be found on Twitter (find here a suggestion of feeds to follow, and here some criteria, first developed during the events in Iran last year, for how to evaluate the credibility of [...]