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Final Word: Twitter is a wonderland and, holy moly, a nightmare

Two stories from Monday may not seem to go together, but in reality, they do.

The first is a story about Dutch teenager who tweeted an al-Qaida terrorist threat to American Airlines as a joke, and was arrested. The tweet included a specific date, June 1. The airline said it takes twitter threats, and ALL threats, seriously.

In other news, US Airways found itself embarrassed when a tweet went out to a customer in response to a complaint. The link inside the tweet had a pretty explicit image of a woman using a toy plane. Wow.

Of course, the airline apologized and took down the offensive photo, but, as with all tweets, wishing it didn't happen and removing it from the feed doesn't actually work.

Also, in the Twitterverse, any attention-getting tweet picks up more followers. So the Dutch teenager, twitter handle @QueenDemetriax, picked up 30,000 followers after she tweeted that threat.

One was American Airlines itself, which answered, "Sarah, we take these threats seriously. Your IP address and details will be forwarded to security and the FBI."

Sarah, the teen terrorist, even took the time to answer, before her arrest, that "I always wanted to be famous ... but not Osama Bin Laden famous."

Her account has been deleted. Oops.

US Airways has 420,000 followers. Is that more than Monday? I am betting so. Maybe some followers are hoping for some free porn, but still, followers are followers.

Tweets get too much attention outside the Twitterverse. Silly or hateful tweets get either more love or more vitriol than they deserve.

Morning news shows devote entire segments to reading twitter posts, in an effort to better engage with the viewers. But it gives too much attention to posters who are only seeking, in the end, attention. Good and bad.

About the Author

Karie Dozer is host of Arizona's Noon News.

She has been an on-air personality nearly continually since her college days. She loves radio because it is intelligent, immediate and almost always available.

She is the youngest of nine children from a Midwestern Catholic family where she learned to be heard, fight for a place at the table and find humor in almost everything. She was hired as a news intern while a senior at ASU's Cronkite School, and found that covering human stories like the OJ Simpson white Bronco chase and the 1992-93 Phoenix Suns was too much fun to pass up.

She loved life in the newsroom with all the action and crazy personalities to go with it. She anchored and covered some sports too, until politics dragged her away. She served as press secretary for Arizona's Attorney General Grant Woods for a five-year stint before jumping back to radio on a part-time basis. Three years ago she got back in the biz on a more regular basis as a midday host on what is now KTAR News. She has a passion for the breaking news of the moment, education, local politics, great food, sports and fitness. She has trouble turning down a good argument, a good book or a good glass of wine.

In her spare time she takes care of her boys, (husband Rich, son Jack, and yellow lab Buddy,) and bakes awesome chocolate chip cookies. She enjoys the quality of life the Valley offers her family and the natural beauty of Arizona. Her favorite places are golf courses, her own kitchen, the city of Flagstaff, and wherever her family is.

She considers herself lucky to work with the amazingly talented people of KTAR radio.


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