THE popularity of Twitter is booming and it’s easy to see why.
Liverpool players like Lucas Leiva, Luis Suarez and Dirk Kuyt have embraced the social networking site and view it as a great way to communicate directly with supporters.
For fans and journalists alike Twitter can be a rich source of information and debate but as this week has underlined it should also be treated with caution.
First, the site went into meltdown after an account claiming to be the agency who represent Wigan’s Charles N’Zogbia ‘revealed’ that the winger had ‘agreed’ a transfer to Anfield.
It was rubbish and unsurprisingly a string of questions from fans about the legitimacy of the claim went unanswered. The account can no longer be located.
Then on Tuesday a photo apparently of Aston Villa’s Stewart Downing holding a Liverpool scarf up in a bar on holiday with Andy Carroll spread via Twitter like wildfire.
Proof if any was needed apparently that Downing was on the verge of sealing his move to the Reds.
Of course anyone taking a close look at the photo would have seen it was a poor fake created by someone with a PC and too much time on their hands. If that could be dismissed as merely a bit of fun then what followed on Wednesday was simply malicious.
A Tweet from an account claiming to be Jamie Redknapp (which is fake) stated that Carroll had been arrested and locked up while on holiday in Ibiza.
The rumour gathered pace to the point that Carroll was ‘trending’ on the social network all afternoon. Yep, on the back of a complete lie the striker’s name was one of the most popular words on Twitter across the globe.
Liverpool’s press office was fielding calls from reporters asking: “Will the club be making any comment on Carroll’s arrest?” The response was short and to the point.
The truth if anyone was interested was that Carroll had already returned from Ibiza and had been at Melwood training that day.
Twitter has its place but as this week’s hat-trick of hoaxes proves it’s best to be wary because there are shysters lurking within.