So the Tweetverse is predictably, uh … twittering? tittering? snickertwitting? someone hack together a “TomKat”-like neologism to describe this … over the hacking of several prominent Twitter accounts.

The updates say that the account hacking is not related to the weekend phishing outbreak.

The official Twitter blog says:

This morning we discovered 33 Twitter accounts had been “hacked” including prominent Twitter-ers like Rick Sanchez and Barack Obama
(who has not been Twittering since becoming the president elect due to transition issues). We immediately locked down the accounts and
investigated the issue. Rick, Barack, and others are now back in control of their accounts.

I know that the Traditional Media Curmudgeons (should I just shorten that to TMCs?) will react with finger-pointing and howls of how you just can’t trust all this newfangled crowdsourcy fancypants technology, that if the Preznit-elect’s Twitter account has been hacked, then that means that you can never tell who’s behind the information you’re seeing on the screen.

Which is correct, as far as that goes.

But the larger point is one that was driven home to me recently – that the online check/balance system is pretty quick on the self-regulation; the account-hacking was pointed out, shut down & blogged about all before 10:44 a.m.  And yeah, OK, in a fire, if some schiesskopf hacked a Fire Dep’t account and put up Tweets directing families into, rather than out of, the onrushing Wall O’ Flame we so often get in Southern Cal, that would indeed be A Bad Thing.

So let me head this strawman off at the pass.  Traditional Media are not immune to hackery.  Examples: the reports that the Oklahoma City bombings were the work of Arab terrorists.  The “Filipino Monkey” that almost touched off World War III (or IV or whatever arbitrary number you want to assign) by taunting US Navy ships into believing they were under attack by Iranians in the Strait of Hormuz a year ago. And we can go all the way back to the War of the Worlds hoax back in ’39 (a brilliant homage to this was created in ’08 on … wait for it … Twitter).

I’m not saying that the machine is perfect & reliable. Nothing is. But the crowdsourcing power of the web is useful, as long as you apply all the same fact-checking and verification procedures you do to any source(s).

One last thing: to the Script Kiddies that thought this would be a hoot.  It was.  And now you will be tracked down & harassed by the News Corp & Justice Department lawyers until your bones bleach in the sun. Thus the Circle of Life is completed.


Fox News’ Twitter page still down:

Fox News Twitter Feed Still Offline

Fox News Twitter Feed Still Offline