Twitter has had a bunch of headlines the last couple days for the fiasco with Morgan Freeman. For those that don’t follow tech news quite as religiously as I do, here’s what happened. A twitter user with a decent following made the following post, “RT @CNN: Breaking News: actor Morgan Freeman has passed away in his Burbank home<< wow legendary actor #RIPmorganfreeman.” The first part of the tweet implies that the message was originally a CNN story and that the user was just repeating it. Of course this wasn’t the case at all, Morgan Freeman never died and CNN never published a story. The last part of the update, the “#RIPmorganfreeman” section is a hash tag. This got people discussing the topic and tagging their own thoughts. Before long, so many people were talking about it that Twitter started recommending people talk about it. From there, it was logical to assume Freeman died and CNN and Freeman were issuing statements. Twitter is making this better with their new RT system, but as long as there is anonymity problems are more then possible.
The second entity Twitter killed this week was Del.icio.us. Yahoo! purchased Del.icio.us and announced late last week that they are winding it down. While Yahoo! certainly deserves some of the responsibility for the death of Del.icio.us, the main culprit is Twitter. Twitter just flat took Del.icio.us place in the world, sharing links became one of the things that Twitter does instead of its own service in much the same way photo sharing (largely) became a function of Facebook.
I don’t have an overall point for this post, but I think it is interesting how Twitter is affecting the world. It’s especially interesting as Twitter’s user base growth is becoming stagnant.