Recently there has been a bit of interest in the media in politicians and the number of Twitter followers they have. I have already blogged here about Stuff’s look at Twitter followers, and how they got sucked into more followers equals better trap. Well Seven Sharp ran a story tonight looking at the issue as well. However they also started out with “on Twitter the whole aim is to have as many followers as possible”, which is a debatable statement in itself.
I suspect Seven Sharp were the people behind the updating of rather dated Twitter audits that I noted yesterday. Which makes the fact that David Cunliffe and Russel Norman’s audits are both still not updated more interesting.
So I did a quick check on the other accounts that they audited on air.
So two of the three presenters accounts were audited recently, while Mike Hosking’s hasn’t been audited lately. As I explained yesterday, Twitter Audit lets you audit your own account for free, but if you want to audit someone else’s they charge you US$4 for it, but they also make those details available for others to see.
The questions that need to be asked are, was it Seven Sharp who paid for the Twitter Audits of the various party leaders that occurred yesterday? If yes, why did they not pay for David Cunliffe and Russel Norman’s audits to be updated? If not, why did they not tell viewers that some of the data was dated and may not be accurate? Why did they not also update Mike Hosking’s? Was it because Toni’s was 1% behind and that made for good on air action?
I know followers are a much easier metric for the media to report and people to grasp. But just like any other reporting, it needs to be based on all the available facts.