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5. Twitter: The Tweet, the Whole Tweet, ... > Pen : Sword :: Tweet : Machine Gun (...

Pen : Sword :: Tweet : Machine Gun (?!?)

If the pen is mightier than the sword, what does that say about the tweet? There are a number of interesting incidents in which Twitter has saved lives, one of the most notorious being James Karl Buck’s famous “Arrested” tweet that led to his speedy release when he was detained by Egyptian authorities. It doesn’t take too much work to find evidence of similar incidents, as well as countless uses of Twitter for noble fundraising efforts and other benevolent causes. Having an outlet really can make a huge difference sometimes. More often than not, though, your home time line (tweet stream) and the public time line are filled with information that’s not quite so dramatic or intriguing. At times like these, cutting out some of the cruft can help you glimpse the big picture. Given that as many as 50 percent of all tweets contain at least one entity that has been intentionally crafted by the tweet author, they make a very logical starting point for tweet analysis. In fact, Twitter has recognized their value and begun to directly expose them in the time line API calls, and in early 2010 and as the year unfolded, they increasingly became most standard throughout the entire Twitter API. Consider the tweet in Example 5-1, retrieved from a time line API call with the opt-in include_entities=true parameter specified in the query.


  

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