Twitter is such an amazing and complicated service. On one hand, I could post the most ridiculous of things and not a single one of my followers would be nonplussed. For example, I could say, "Dear Followers, the Moon beckons and I am wont to explore. I climb upon my space cat/ship and go forth. Farewell." I'd then receive a multitude of replies wishing me a safe trip, god speed, etc, but certainly no dramatic reactions.
Then on the other hand, there are different expectations when Lionhead Studios wants to play a joke and posts something along the lines of, "No we are not showing ANYTHING at #E3 no #Fable3 no #Milo no-thing, not even an announcement. NOTHING. You got that? We're not even going." Oh damn! Wish I had thought of that one Lionhead!
Needless to say, the internet went wild with speculation. What does this mean for Natal? Is there something amiss at Microsoft? Has Peter Molyneux run out of elaborate lies to say during his E3 speeches? Lucky for us none of these things are true. Lionhead quickly sent out another Tweet, "PEOPLE of the world! Sarcasm. With the recent "announce an announce on twitter" craze we thought we'd do something different. We are at E3!!"
The damage was done though, no one will ever trust another thing Lionhead or Mr. Molyneux will ever say. (Hah!)
In a similar circumstance, some completely random Facebook group purported that it represented Respawn Entertainment, and how they had a huge announcement lined up for E3! And yet, after weeks of coverage stating the exact opposite, every major news site was more than happy to believe it was true. Combined with denials from EA, West and Zampella, the internet slowly realized how silly it was to source an obscure Facebook status and has since updated their blog posts.
Don't take me wrong, though, I'm not saying that reporting on Twitter and Facebook messages should be frowned upon. In fact, I believe these new applications are great for our industry and fun to report on. It's simply ridiculous that they're taken so seriously. Each tiny message becomes abhorrently controversial, rather than light-hearted and enjoyable. Lionhead shouldn't have had to apologize for a hilarious tweet, and this Respawn Facebook group should never have been considered so legitimate that EA had to release a statement on the matter.
Twitter is troublesome, just ask Cliffy B, but it's also a lot of fun. And just like games, and game journalism, why so serious? We're all here to have a good time.