The PJ Tatler

#twitterdummies Confused the Czech Republic with Chechnya

Twitter is, indeed, the most diverse social media platform going. They have nearly 555,000,000 registered users with 135,000 new sign ups every day. Nearly 58 million tweets are made everyday — that’s about 9.100 tweets a second.

It might also interest you to know that about 40% of registered Twitter users are lurkers — that is, they never tweet, just watch others.

They may be the smart ones.

The Czech ambassador to the United States has put on record his alarm that during the hunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspect so many Americans on social media appeared to confuse his own country – in central Europe – with Chechnya – a republic in south-west Russia.

As the identities of Chechen brothers Dzokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev – the suspects in Monday’s attack which killed three and injured over 150 – filtered across the internet, many people tweeted that the pair were from the Czech Republic.

In a statement posted on his embassy’s website, Petr Gandalovic said he was “deeply shocked by the tragedy,” adding: “As more information on the origin of the alleged perpetrators is coming to light, I am concerned to note in the social media a most unfortunate misunderstanding in this respect. The Czech Republic and Chechnya are two very different entities.

“As the President of the Czech Republic Miloš Zeman noted in his message to President Obama, the Czech Republic is an active and reliable partner of the United States in the fight against terrorism. We are determined to stand side by side with our allies in this respect, there is no doubt about that.”

This is sort of like liberals who believed “right wing fanatics” were behind the Boston Marathon bombings, using as “proof” the idea that April 15 was “close” to the anniversary date of April 19 for the Waco massacre and Oklahoma City bombing.

Chechnya is also “close” to the Czech Republic. Only 1,700 miles separate the two countries. April 19 was also “close” to Christmas but no one was accusing elves of being the bombers.

Really now, you don’t need a degree to use Twitter. But perhaps one should refrain from posting on international events without being familiar with…international stuff. Like the right name of countries.

How embarrassing.