Review by Choice Review
Murthy (Bowdoin College) explores the social, political, historic, and economic aspects of Twitter. Twitter fills a unique space in social media, but the concept of sending short messages is neither unique nor without critics. The early telegraph sent short messages to individuals and in the 1930s notificator message boards, where anybody could post a message for all to read, were common. The 140-character Twitter messages are similar but have a global impact. Citizen journalism has blossomed due to the ease of communicating disaster information. Twitter has been used by social activists to unite people for Occupy Wall Street (crowdsourcing) and the "Arab Spring." This unity may not democratize the world, but it can make despots uncomfortable. Mainstream news outlets have depended on Twitter to get access to developing stories from local posters where it was too dangerous or impossible to send a reporter for breaking news. Murthy discusses all this, and also reflects on the ethical issues of medical collaboration among health researchers via Twitter. Twitter has become the ego platform for celebrities to communicate with fans. This is a fascinating stroll through the history of Twitter and its societal impact. Gr8 book 4 U. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates; graduate students. R. Davis Kent State University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.