New 'career-saving' Twitter service corrects inaccurate tweets before they go viral


Twitter users who send inaccurate tweets and then find their lack of wisdom is going viral now have a chance to close the stable door.

A new and potentially career-saving service has been launched which not only allows misinformation to be corrected but spreads the word among retweeters in the hope that they too will make the much-needed amendment.

Called Retwact, which means Retweet Retraction, it has been designed by Florida-based software developer Stonly Baptiste as a side project.

The online application shows an account holder's five most recently retweeted tweets and the user is asked to select the tweet they would like to correct.

This correction is then sent to the tweeter's followers as well as the @Retwact Twitter account which searches for the first 100 people who retweeted the original inaccurate tweet. It lets them know, via an @-mention, that the mistake has been rectified.

Although this message isn't automatically sent out to the retweeters' followers, it does mean they at least see that the tweet was inaccurate and, hopefully, correct it before it goes truly viral.

Retwact is not the first service to try and stem the tide of misinformation. Efemr lets users set a timer for how long each tweet will be seen. When the time is up, the tweet is deleted although this doesn't stop people from spreading any inaccurate information during the time the tweet is live.

Both, however, recognise the problem of live tweets and the possibility of misinformation spreading and getting out of hand. This most recently seen with the frenzy of speculation on Twitter about the Boston bombing when many “facts” being tweeted and then retweeted were later revealed to be false.

It would also have helped red-faced officials in the Japanese city of Yokohama who accidentally tweeted “North Korea has launched a missile”, a message that was written only in preparation for such an event.