Yesterday, hackers broke into the Associated Press (AP) Twitter account and posted a false message about explosions at the White House. The image above shows the Wall Street reaction. What’s particularly interesting, showing the interdependencies between systems, is that some of the trading activity resulted from automated algorithms possibly making the reaction worse than it otherwise would have been. This follows closely on the heels of a Reddit story going viral on Twitter wrongly identifying possible suspects in last week’s terrible bombing of the Boston Marathon. One of those wrongly identified is still missing…
Today, Twitter has implemented two-factor authentication to tighten up security.
These incidents should not deter people from looking to real-time social media channels such as Twitter for information. But they do highlight the growing importance of critical thinking and reflection before reacting. Because reactions bring with them consequences.
- One false tweet puts a bomb – briefly – under Wall Street, The Times (subscription required to access)
- Reddit apologies for online Boston ‘witch hunt’, BBC News