Posted by & filed under Home Computing.

Twitter is great for giving and receiving useful, interesting or entertaining snippets of information (usually with links to more info. if you want it) between friends, colleagues or even strangers with an interest in what you do.

However, it does have a couple of downsides that you need to be aware of as a tweeter (giver) or a follower (receiver).

One story today clearly highlighted both of these.

This morning TechCrunch reported that a Twitter account apparently for a UK MP, had said that the next general election would be “in weeks” and then the account was closed down. The account looked very much like the official one for Nick Brown MP and had tweeted in reply to Austin Mitchell.

Shortly after the account was deleted but by then a number of eagle eyed people had already seen it.

So what does this tell us about using Twitter?

Well if this was not fake then it shows how easily private information can be accidentally disseminated around the world with one click in the wrong place. My advice is don’t even think about sending personal information via Twitter, even if you think you’ve used the correct protocol to send to only the person you intended. One character mistyped and the whole world could know.

And what if it was a fake? Well this shows how important it is to choose who you follow carefully and don’t take anything you read on Twitter as gospel. Remember that anyone can set up a Twitter account with any name and use any image.

So will there be a general election in weeks? Who knows?!

But enjoy Twittering anyway, but beware!