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Final Word: Twitter is a wonderland and, holy moly, a nightmare

Two stories from Monday may not seem to go together, but in reality, they do.

The first is a story about Dutch teenager who tweeted an al-Qaida terrorist threat to American Airlines as a joke, and was arrested. The tweet included a specific date, June 1. The airline said it takes twitter threats, and ALL threats, seriously.

In other news, US Airways found itself embarrassed when a tweet went out to a customer in response to a complaint. The link inside the tweet had a pretty explicit image of a woman using a toy plane. Wow.

Of course, the airline apologized and took down the offensive photo, but, as with all tweets, wishing it didn’t happen and removing it from the feed doesn’t actually work.

Also, in the Twitterverse, any attention-getting tweet picks up more followers. So the Dutch teenager, twitter handle @QueenDemetriax, picked up 30,000 followers after she tweeted that threat.

One was American Airlines itself, which answered, “Sarah, we take these threats seriously. Your IP address and details will be forwarded to security and the FBI.”

Sarah, the teen terrorist, even took the time to answer, before her arrest, that “I always wanted to be famous … but not Osama Bin Laden famous.”

Her account has been deleted. Oops.

US Airways has 420,000 followers. Is that more than Monday? I am betting so. Maybe some followers are hoping for some free porn, but still, followers are followers.

Tweets get too much attention outside the Twitterverse.
Silly or hateful tweets get either more love or more vitriol than they deserve.

Morning news shows devote entire segments to reading twitter posts, in an effort to better engage with the viewers. But it gives too much attention to posters who are only seeking, in the end, attention. Good and bad.