On 11th April 2012, at the height of public panic and anxiety over a tsunami watch, YES FM tweeted about tickets for a Shaggy concert in Colombo. I’ve covered this in detail in YES FM’s tweet during a tsunami watch: An epic fail. YES FM, in a number of public tweets, apologised and put it down to a “scheduled update” and that the tweet was “automatically generated”.
In addition to @groundviews, YES FM tweeted this to @ChariyaT, @Lishanw, @takashiG, @ThilinaH, @LakshithaX, @MarlonOz, @ThilinaH and @Mahasona. There is however, a catch.
The original tweet can be viewed here, and I’ve uploaded an image of it in case YES FM deletes it. The meta data for the tweet notes clearly that it was published via the web, and not through any other platform or Twitter client. This is important. Twitter records how a tweet was published. For example,
This tweet was published using HootSuite.
This tweet was auto-generated from Ada Derana’s website using Twitterfeed.
This tweet was published using Tweetbot via an iOS device (e.g. iPhone 4)
A tweet I published today, based on an earlier blog post, flags that I used the official Twitter client for OS X.
There are a number of platforms and Twitter clients that allow you to schedule tweets. However, using any of them would include the relevant meta data in the tweet. Put another way, if YES FM did actually schedule the tweet in question, the programme or platform used would have been displayed instead of noting that, as is clearly the case now, the tweet was published using the web. I’ve actually gone through YES FM’s Twitter feed, and there not a single tweet I could find that hasn’t been published outside of Twitter’s web interface. Doing so requires human interaction at the time of publishing the tweet, which means that YES FM’s tweet wasn’t in fact scheduled.
Through @groundviews, I’ve asked YES FM thrice to tell me what, if any client or platform it used to “schedule” the tweet.
No response to date.
I would like to give YES FM the benefit of the doubt and believe that I’ve missed something here – that the tweet was in fact scheduled, and wasn’t an outrageous failure on their part to be sensitive to the time at which it was published. The meta data on the web, however, strongly suggests otherwise. I can understand a lapse in better judgment. I would find it hard to forget, or forgive, deliberate lies.