Three Stories about Twitter last week caught my eye; there’s a common theme of manipulating the audience – whether that’s other twitterers or a mainstream media audience.

Tweet from Space

I’ve seen reports this week that the first “Tweet” was sent from space, which sounds like a huge fantastic technological advance until you read.

Massimino transmits his messages to Mission Control on the ground, and NASA posts them to the Web at:

OK, so still cool, but not as breakthrough-geek-cool as it first sounded.

World’s Oldest Tweeter

Ivy Bean’s first two tweets

Then there’s the report of the World’s Oldest Tweeter in the UK’s telegraph science section, Ivy Bean who “talks cuppas and casserole on Twitter at 104”. Well not when the photo was taken she didn’t, at that time she’d only made two tweets and neither mention tea or casserole.

I’m delighted that she’s on twitter – I wish her many happy tweets. I think it’s fantastic that she enjoys it, and that technology is becoming so simple to use that everyone wants to.

But this story has “manufactured” written all over it. I’m not the only one to notice, Techcrunch came to the same conclusion, specifically

Bean signed up and sent her first two tweets at the time all these guys were writing their stories. Or, to put it more clearly, this whole story was staged.

Tweet the Life you Wish You Had

Kanye West, a famous rap artist (I know this because I read it on wiki) has complained on his blog about misuse of his name in various twitter accounts. Which was picked up in the mainstream news and has led to twitter looking at verifying accounts in order to avoid confusion.

This could be a good move, and not just for twitter.

It’s interesting that the most calculated manipulation here is by mainstream media – who often defend their status as “keepers of the truth” against user generated content. They’re now using the tools of the social media world to create manipulation in their own stories.

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