I would argue that outside of HD TV, Twitter has had the biggest impact on sports in the last few years. With the ability to gather information from all sorts of outlets in real time, Twitter has become a big source for sports fans everywhere. However, there is a downside as Twitter is starting to slowly morph into a tabloid.
For instance, let us look at the Les Miles “rumor.” Some guy decided to post about a rumor that he read on a message board about Miles having an affair. Once that Tweet was sent, all hell broke loose online. People were racing to spread the information without fact-checking a single thing. My phone was blowing up with texts from people asking if the rumors were true. As it turns out, there was nothing to the rumors but the damage had been done. Another rumor was spread due to the race for information.
Another unchecked rumor has tried to gain some legs over the last few hours. I won’t name names, but Twitter’s biggest sports rumor monger has been trying to say that a certain NBA star is linked the steroid clinic that has had names such as Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez as part of the clientele. Of course, this guy is rarely right but he likes to think he is. However, it only takes a few people to start spreading the news before it blows up and everyone knows about it.
This is something that needs to be taken care of. Too many people are hiding behind anonymous “sources” and they use that to say anything they want. That is not the point of social media. The next time you see a rumor that sounds patently false, make sure to fact check before you spread it. You never know what will blow up.