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Boca Raton public relations firm launches 'Tweet Police' to separate fact from fiction

Posted at 6:49 PM, Jul 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-11 04:46:23-04

These days we can connect directly with newsmakers on social media. But the feed of information can get ugly. Now a Boca Raton man wants to reign in the “Twittersphere.”

“Check out MSNBC,” Tom Madden directed.

Welcome to the first roll call for the "Tweet Police."

“Particularly, I’m looking for misinformation,” Madden told a different member of the “police” force.

Madden has a badge around his neck and refers to himself as chief of the "Tweet Police." Employees at his Boca-based TransMedia public relations firm follow his orders.

The former journalist and network television executive’s mission is to weed out the fact from fiction to help Twitter users discover what matters.

“If we’re going to be spending all of this time on trivial subjects, it’s not fair to more important news,” he pointed out.

Madden knows his "Tweet Police" force has no authority. But he plans to issue citations, "hissdemeanors" and "melonies" (instead of misdemeanors and felonies) to Twitter abusers in a humorous way. The idea is the attention will shine a light on how people and the media devote hours to 140 characters.

“I can point that out and I think it’s doing a service to the public,” Madden said.

A Florida Atlantic University professor wrote the book on Twitter politics, literally. It’s called Tweeting to Power. Author Kevin Wagner said some existing websites play a similar role as Tweet Police.

“The truth of the matter is this type of thing goes on on the internet already,” Wagner said pointing to Politifact.com and FactCheck.org.

Wagner predicts another challenge for the "Tweet Police" will be keeping up with the endless updates.

“By the time you’ve called out something on social media you think is inaccurate, the media focus and story has moved past it for the most part,” Wagner said.

Still Madden believes we can get more substance from Twitter.