By Larry Magid

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — It may be hard to believe, but Twitter turned 8 years old on Friday. It’s grown tremendously from one user in 2006 to about 241 million today but also the way people perceive it has drastically developed—especially when it come to shaping world events.

Admittedly I was an early skeptic because I didn’t think it was possible to say anything in 140 characters—it turns out I can. I was also worried that everyone would be posting what they had for lunch but when I finally got on Twitter, I started to realize that a smart people are out there posting interesting things—whether they are journalists, politicians or even companies offering service.

There’s a lot of great information on Twitter; it really just depends on who you’re following and how you’re using it. But for me, and other journalists, it’s been a useful tool and, apparently, lots of people like it.

My first tweet was in April 2007. I know this because Twitter introduced a tool to commemorate their eighth anniversary that lets users unearth their tweet.

Social media, Twitter specifically, have played a huge role in world events over the last several years, including the Arab Spring and most recently with social dissidents in Turkey.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has tried to ban Twitter but it has been a complete failure. People have found ways to get around it by using text messages and according to an article in the Los Angeles Times, twitter traffic in Turkey is just a high as it usually is.

It’s like trying to tear out weeds that grow out from the cracks on sidewalks. Information wants to be and people will not be able to suppress it. Good luck trying to censor the internet.

Interestingly, for Turkey, Twitter tweeted out to users that they could use SMS, or text, their tweets. Now I don’ know if that is taking an official position but mere fact they did that is pretty close to an official position.


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