Learning a new skill is hard. Evidentially, twitter is too hard for some people. Robert Llewellyn was rightly confused when he saw this...
— Robert Llewellyn (@bobbyllew) October 23, 2009
What Had Happened?
Turns out, the BBC had read a tweet to Robert Llewellyn and mistaken it for a tweet by him
— Dave (@dflite) October 22, 2009
When Is A Retweet Not A Retweet?
Look everyone! Stephen Fry wants to organise a protest!
— Allison (@misswallison) October 22, 2009
(In fairness, many people made this mistake, I've picked Allison randomly)
What Really Happened
A user asked Stephen Fry to retweet her idea
— Edward "Ted" Cunterblast (@tedcnterblast) October 22, 2009
@jakediy My idea, I sent stephen an @ reply asking him to pick it up. People misread this and thought it was his idea. He hasn't RTed
— Edward "Ted" Cunterblast (@tedcnterblast) October 23, 2009
People retweeted her, then those people were retweeted. Then, like Chinese Whispers the original message got truncated, garbled and misinterpreted.
Can't People Read?
No. People, in my experience, read what they want to see.
The syntax of retweeting and replying is confusing to some people. Maybe it's me, but I picked it up fairly quickly - others struggle. This is then compounded by not bothering to check the original source.
As Churchill Mark Twain Sarah Palin Stephen Fry said "A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth has logged in to twitter."