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Earthquake in Japan. Twitter Reports First – Again

A few days ago a 7.2 magnitude Earthquake in China was first reported by several Twitter users, and only got picked up by the news agencies 20 or so minutes later.   Today it’s happening again:

地震!Earthquake in Tokyo! http://urltea.com/2zug

27 minutes ago from Zooomr Icon_star_empty

Reported by Kristopher Tate on Twitter.  No news agencies reported it yet. Google blog search reveals one post:

March 24
(3-24-08) EARTHQUAKE IN TOKYO, JAPAN!
I am sitting her at home in Shimoakatsuka, Itabashi-ku , Tokyo and I just felt an earthquake at about 12:41pm! Did anyone else feel the earthquake?

So it’s twitter and a single blog post.

The USGS site has the precise information: magnitude 5.3 Monday, March 24, 2008 at 03:40:13 UTC Honshu, Japan.

Still nothing on news wires.

Update:  Still nothing on the majors, but the Times of India and the Trend News Agency, Azerbaijan report it now.  Perhaps we need to redefine what a major news agency is smile_sad

Comments

  1. Hi Zoli,
    I actually appreciated your tweet ahead of news this evening as we are hosting an exchange student from Japan and an “early warning” system is useful in keeping worry levels managed. But it does represent a rather bizarre world order, when the grapeline/vine is quicker than the news feeds. I heard about Bhuto via twitter before it really was clear through news channels. Amazing. Question though does this spell end of doing diligence around meticulously checking facts. In our incredible appetite for instant will we run the risk of being sloppy and replace careful research with knee-jerking. Does our “instant” culture push boundaries of quality down. Just some thoughts, no judgments.

  2. Shouldn’t this be viewed a bit differently? Twitter had the first word on this and prior events to be sure. But a mere 20 minutes? Frankly, your OP should read “national news reporting agencies take a *mere 20 minutes* to verify rumors first noted on Twitter that an earthquake had indeed occurred”

    I find your slant amusing. Should I Tweet something about a national disaster here in the North East, completely fabricated, would you blame the AP wire for posting it immediately without verification first?

    The online social tool that is Twitter is certainly redefining the times, to be sure. But be careful how you paint its importance. Word has always spread faster than fact. It will always take time to seperate the news from the hype.

  3. Al Brown says:

    Have to agree with Steve on that. Reporting that takes no time or effort or responsibility will always be faster.

    But I do think there is important data being created by twittering that could be aggregated into something with more meaning with enough speed to change what news organizations and governments pay attention to. A smarter Twitter could make that happen.

  4. All I have to say is that twitter is an excellent tool. It leaves reporting to people and it is done almost automatically.

  5. I'm sorry and sad for the earthquake disaster which claimed huge casualties in China. Hopefully the government and people of China can overcome this tragedy. World community should help to restore the suffering experienced by the victims of the disaster.

Trackbacks

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  2. […] beaten the press to a major story. It did the same for the UK earthquake earlier this year, or the other China earthquake in March, and the Mexico quake last year. But Twitter doesn’t beat the press or the USGS to […]

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  4. […] some  earthquake expert simply because I pointed out Twitter was the first to report quakes in Japan and China.)  But clearly, not all information on Twitter is reliable, as was the case of the […]

  5. […] was some  earthquake expert simply because I pointed out Twitter was the first to report quakes in Japan and China.)  But clearly, not all information on Twitter is reliable, as was the case of the fake […]

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