Friday, 28th February, 2020


No more a Wikipedia article, reading 5 tweets enough to become an expert on any subject

25, Sep 2012 By Pagal Patrakar

New Delhi. Researchers have concluded that people are no longer reading up Wikipedia articles on any topic to become an expert on the same topic. Instead, people are reading up tweets – sentences no longer than 140 characters including blank space – to gain domain expertise.

“Gone are the days when people used to go through Encyclopedia, read up dozens of reference books, and spend hours of scholarly work to become an expert on any issue,” Girish, a researcher claimed, “After the advent of Google and Wikipedia, reading a few Wiki pages and Google search results were enough to become an expert.”

The research paper cited all these books in the bibliography section, but sources say that researchers just read the Wikipedia articles on these books. Researchers justify their act by claiming that they at least read full articles.

“But now, people don’t need to read up even that much,” Girish revealed, “Just a few tweets, five on an average, or reading a few Facebook status messages on a subject can turn a person into an expert on that subject.”

Researchers claimed this was a universal phenomenon and hardly any group was untouched by this 2-minute-recipe-to-expertise.

“Just 5 tweets, sometimes even lesser, and a person successfully rejects or accepts an argument,” Girish explained the scholarly pursuit and thought process of the 2-minute-experts, “Usually all he needs is to read up what others are saying. 5 tweets, and he makes up his mind. He becomes an expert.”

“Any person disagreeing with him becomes a ‘moron’ or a ‘low IQ’ ideologue from the other side of the argumentative divide,” he added, “Even though he himself is busy copy-pasting tweets and opinions of others.”

Researchers predict that this trend could continue and one day people could become experts just after seeing a photograph or clicking something online.

“Wikipedia and Twitter are mostly text-based, so there is still some reading involved,” Girish explained, “With Facebook becoming a photo-sharing website and Twitter allowing expanded photos, just looking at a picture could turn a person into an expert.”

“Or maybe something like – like this page and know everything about classical liberalism – and people would take it literally and seriously,” he predicted the future.

When Faking News sent the full research paper to a group of Twitter and Facebook users for their comments, most of them replied back saying “TL;DR”.