Have you ever played a game of telephone as a child? Perhaps these days they might called it SMS/text Messaging? Either way, the idea is that you whisper what you were told to the person sitting next to you. This continues until it makes its way full circle back to the person who first started the game. The fun comes in with how badly distorted the original statement becomes as it is passed along. We are seeing this happen with Twitter and the Swine Flu.
Oddly enough what started out as general news about the outbreak has turned into conspiracy theories about this flu strain potentially being something of a germ-warfare, in addition to other unproven statements. Even worse is when links are provided by “news sites” claiming that this flu is actually something weaponized, designed to cause harm to others. And leave it to the masses on Twitter, take might and turn it into certain doom and gloom that the most wild eyed Twitter users will take as literal.
There is no question on two fronts. First, Twitter is a solid way to spread critical information faster than anything seen by man to date. And second, this flu issue could become something very serious. But panicking and crafting Tweets designed to scare others is not helping anyone. Least of all, it is certainly not helping to inform others should something real actually develop regarding this flu scare…this is for sure.