Twitter, which is expected to go public this week, is heralded as a go-to source of information during times of political crisis.

twitterThe micro-blogging site was hailed for its role in uniting freedom fighters against despotic North African/Asian regimes of the Arab World. It also was praised as a force for good in the battle against the mullahs in Iran.

Alas, Twitter's reputation as the Paul Revere of the social media scene may have been overblown.

An Associated Press/CNBC poll released today says a mere 16 percent of its users use Twitter for news updates. Forty-four percent of Twitter users sometimes turn to Twitter for news.

Since the AP and CNBC (to a certain extent) are in the news business, some may cast a jaundiced eye at the survey. Sour grapes!

More ominous for Twitter: More than half of respondents aged 18 to 34 consider Twitter a bum investment. Forty-seven percent of total respondents consider Twitter a poor investment, while 31 percent disagrees.

Investors were more bullish on Facebook ahead of its IPO. More than half 51 percent viewed it as a good deal.

All in all, Twitter’s IPO is expected to value it as a $12B enterprise.

That’s not bad for a seven-year-old company that has never earned a penny and faces an uphill quest to educate the world beyond the U.S. and Canada about its value as an advertising medium.