When social news isn’t news any more

Ross Hall

April 17, 2021
(Updated on June 17, 2021)

Dockside cranes in front of a commercial dock with a Japanese Self Defence Force submarine in the foreground

A tweet drifted past earlier in the week that got the photographer-radar buzzing. Japan’s first Hydrogen Transporting Ship was being launched in Kobe, and I figured I’d pop down the docks and snap a photo. After all, I’d already managed to bag a submarine or two.

Small problem:

The article being retweeted was from 2019. Short of a time machine, I’d missed my chance.

This was the first in a half dozen articles I clicked on over the next 30-odd minutes that were more than a year old. There was no indication in the tweet or the card that it was anything other than current news.

Which begs a question:

Why doesn’t Twitter (and LinkedIn for that matter) including the publication date in the card that accompanies the links?

Knowing something was a little out of date might help us poor readers filter out “old news”, or at least approach it with appropriate levels of excitement. This isn’t difficult to do, the data is often included in page headers for SEO.

It might also prompt certain “influencers” to think more carefully about what they share.

I'm Ross Hall, a writer and researcher based in Kobe, Japan. You can talk to me about B2B, sustainability and strategic management.

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