A simple blog post looking at a case of a mistaken retweet.  I was on my way home from work tonight,  as usual I jump on the tram on the short trip from Deansgate back to Old Trafford and scan twitter for the days events that I may have missed.

I came across a tweet regarding the tragic death of Christian Benitez, the former Birmingham City striker who hailed from Ecuador.  Naturally, I wanted to read some more about the story so ran a search for his name and came across the following tweet from the BBC and retweeted, based on the fact the BBC had posted.


I continued my journey, only for a reply to come through from Pritesh Patel informing me he didnt believe it to be a car crash, but related to illness.



Having then looked at further tweets I came across a further tweet from the BBC stating that the earlier statement of a car crash was now believed to be untrue.


It would however appear that despite there being just 35 mins between each of the BBC tweets, the difference in retweets was a huge 3385 retweets (3638 vs 253), so from a social reach perspective this is huge.

The impact of this can be further seen in the search results for Christian Benitez and also where appended with “car crash”, that sites were quick to report as they had heard similar or the same as the BBC. These pages now re-direct but the spread of the incorrect story will surely have outweighed the later, but correct story.

Christian Benitez Google


Christian Benitez Car Crash

I suppose ultimately, the question I am posing as per the title of the post, do we retweet news based on the trust we place in a source ??

And ultimately does this mean that Google needs to be able to react to breaking news in such a way, especially with sensitive subjects like someone’s death ??



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