Another Twitter frenzy
I don't know whether Rep. Anthony Weiner sent a lewd photo of himself to a college student via Twitter. The evidence is mixed: on the one hand, Weiner's claim that someone else sent the photo as a prank is quite plausible given security holes (since fixed) in photo-sharing service yfrog. On the other, the unfortunately named Democratic congressman's evasive behavior in the last couple days doesn't exactly scream innocence.
I do, however, want to make two quick points about social media:
- An incident like this might tempt you to criticize social media and pine for the good old days of pre-web journalism. But as is so often the case, most of the deep research and reporting on this story hasn't been done by print journalists and broadcasters. It's been done by bloggers and Twitter users.
As always, it's important to remember that social media (like a newspaper or a broadcasting license) is a tool that can be put to many uses, good and bad. This is simply a particularly colorful example of the latter--whether the culprit turns out to be Rep. Weiner himself or someone trying to smear him.
Elsewhere, Ruth Graham compiles a list of members of Congress for whom this would be a less scandalous incident.