Twitter is abuzz with the news that Johnny Depp is dead (he’s not). I can’t believe how many gullible people get suckered in by a good Twitter hoax. It is, however, a sign of the shifting nature of news. News now breaks on Twitter. Which is a shame. Because Twitter is full of twits.
The blame for this shift rests firmly with the established media. The problem is that the media has completely lost touch with what news is, and often serve up marginally interesting tabloid gossip instead of actual news. Sadly, marginally interesting tabloid gossip is not their forte. The Internet is much better at it. When conventional news covers celebrity gossip they’re about as good as the joke in the next sentence is funny. Tonight’s story it was the Brangelina split – apparently Angelina is enforcing a prenup condition whereby she keeps the “A” from their name – so Brad will now be “Brd”.
Because celebrity news – and deaths – are much more important than normal deaths (by a scale of about 100,000 to 1) journalists are forced to turn a rather minor event into something major (and the Twits follow suit). This is how they do it (from here)…
And here’s Surviving the World’s insight on why this is unacceptable.
If the media reported things as they happened, and with the attention they deserved (which is a big ask – I know) then we wouldn’t be left with the Twits setting the news agenda, and there’d be no chance of a hoax like this resulting in such an outpouring of unnecessary emotion.