Twitter has unequivocally debunked rumours that the network was going to shut down in 2017 because of abuse received by one user on the network. While we can all rejoice in the fact that everything is still A-okay, it nevertheless raises questions about how quickly lies can spread online…
#SaveTwitter is the perfect example of how little rumours can escalate immensely quickly on social media. While the prospect that Twitter’s response to allegations of abuse would be to call curtains on their billion dollar idea is a little contrived to say the least, that didn’t stop thousands of users getting involved in the trending discussion. By midday on 11th August there were over 100,000 tweets mentioning the hashtag.
On Thursday Twitter denounced the rumour, stating “there is absolutely no truth to the claims whatsoever”. When the hashtag first began trending it was unclear what had sparked it. Gradually what surfaced as the primary reason was that it was all down to one user who had documented a history of cyber-abuse on the network.
While Twitter have undoubtedly been criticized in the past for their responses to issues of cyber-bullying and abusive behaviour, they have never been one to shy away from a challenge. By all means, they’ve spent the last year battling a struggling user growth.
Right now what’s unclear is whether somebody had it out for Twitter, or for Twitter users. If by some stretch of the imagination it is the latter, we need to give that person their due as #SaveTwitter really needed to rely on the gullibility of users in order to succeed – and succeed it most certainly did. But what they didn’t realise was the sheer passion that would be unearthed by users. The reactions helped show how much twitter users value the network.
What will be the next bizarre Twitter rumour? Tweet us. We’ll help you start it – @GiraffeSM.