The screenshot above shows the oldest results from search.twitter.com for “EUCO Berlusconi”, and explains how the Twitterwall story started (I’ve previously posted about here and here). Just to set the record straight this is exactly what happened.
First, I realised that tweets containing #EUCO would appear on the Twitter wall, and – among other critical tweets – wrote this, the first tweet shown above mentioning Berlusconi.
Second, a few minutes later I followed up with this tweet to @zanlaura, @Elena2010 and @svaroschi, Italian political people I follow. The tweet was re-tweeted by @zanlaura, and then further re-tweeted by @mpietropoli, the Twitter user credited by The Guardian as the tweeter who caused the Twitterwall to be turned off.
The way the press and media cottoned on to this story is interesting too. The first article about the incident, beyond the blogosphere, was this piece on EUObserver by Leigh Philipps. Leigh knew about the incident in part because of this tweet from me, and retweeted the link to one of my previous posts on this, but how the story started is not featured. It’s not the first time that Leigh has profited from something I dug up and then my name is nowhere to be seen.
Once EUObserver started it, Paul Waugh lifted Leigh’s story (without any credit) and put it on Politics Home. I previously had respect for Paul, a journalist who uses Twitter to converse with readers and to source stories, but my tweet to him has gone without answer, and inaccuracies remain in his story as I write. Not impressed, and a bit ironic when covering a story that’s about a lack of honest debate at a European Council.
Leigh then wrote a piece for The Guardian and posts have appeared on TechCrunch, BBC News, Bruno Waterfield’s Telegraph blog, Gawker, New York Times (quoting @Eurogoblin), and EU Weekly. The only posts that actually explain the start of the story correctly are Washington Post, Lettera43 (in Italian) and Eurogoblin on his blog. Mathew also has a good analytical post worth reading.
So there you have it, the story of how two Twitterwalls became a story reported worldwide, and probably drawing attention of people to the European Council that would otherwise never have heard of it. I’m happy to have started the whole thing and just have a mild annoyance that the vast majority of the credit has gone to others. But as a little blogger wanting to cause some mischief I suppose that’s to be expected.
Paul Waugh has contacted me, stating the piece will be updated to credit where appropriate, but at 1156 GMT Saturday this still hasn’t happened.