#amazonfail.. maybe not so much as “made a mistake”

DogWalkBlog: Twitter gives small minds the illusion of power. #amazonfails

SleepoverRover: @dogwalkblog #amazonfail is not a small issue. It has broad reach.

DogWalkBlog: @SleepoverRover maybe, but I think is a knee-jerk reaction to a human mistake. I think Twits are quick to pull a trigger to gain fame

This is a quick exchange of tweets that happened today between me and SleepoverRover. Notice how the topic swtiched from a conversation about “small minds” to making assumptions about me saying the #amazonfail is a “small issue” in one tweet.

Read the tweets again. I said no such thing.

I agree with SleepoverRover that #amazonfail is a larger issue. I agree with SleepoverRover that censorship in any form is not an ingredient of a healthy conversation among adults. But, I also assert that arguing complex issues in 140 characters or less is probably worse than simply not commenting. But SleepoverRover was in the midst of a rage and a small thing like reading my actual words wasn’t going to stand in her way. She is probably still steaming away.

My entire point is there are lots and lots of Twits out there just lurking and waiting for a chance to pounce on a big brand or some other small human mistake and blow it up way out of proporation for their own selfish fame and glory. Perhaps they are motivated by a need for attention, a delusionary sense of power, a quest for fame. I don’t know and don’t care. Perhaps they are so caught up in the moment of rage that they fail to understand how their tweets are distorting the conversation. Maybe they are just lazy or stupid.

In addition, there are a lot of Twits out there re-tweeting and passing along the story in a wild, riot-fueled frenzy without fact-checking. This is the best social media has to offer our democracy? Wow, give me back my newspaper.

Anyone who has ever dabbled with regular expressions in the Unix world understands how human error could play a part in all this. You think you may have the correct pattern, you test and test on a set of data until you are satisfied thaings are ok, but then when you release it into production, you find out that you didn’t quite test it on the entire set of known and unknown patterns. It happens.

So, you back up and maybe get it right the second time around. It is called human error, we used to tolerate it. What went wrong?

In the meantime, Twitter has destroyed a brand, burned the village and when the angry mob realizes it has also burned the bridge to get back, it is too late.