Be Careful What You Repeat

lies-deception-dishonesty-fictions-alzheimers-disease-dementiaThe other day, I read a tweet with a link to a story about a transgendered man who was shot and killed in a public restroom in a department store in Colorado.  The link was to the site Associated Media Coverage.  The story upset me, and I started writing a blog when I realized that the article didn’t meet the 5-W’s standard.  What was missing was the name of the city in Colorado where the killing took place.  When I searched Google for another article ton find the city, I found that the story was fake.  Snopes has since written about it. I found the alleged shooter’s name and that she died in 2012 and also, that the department store named in the article does not exist.

I was sharing this with a friend who recommended that I blog about it.

I’m from old school journalism.  We learned that when writing, whether fiction or non-fiction, to lay out the 5-W’s; who, what, where, when, why.  Ambiguity, just as giving the name of a state but not a city, is not effective journalism.

Most of what I do here in blogging is reporting.  I like using verifiable, reputable sources and most times, embed links to those sources.   What I’ve discovered in the last 2 years or so, is that one online news source does not cover the 5-W’s, and I have to find and read at least 3 different sources to get all of the information that covers the 5-W’s.

Now, I understand that editors only allow so much space for articles, and with things being online, they have about 5 times as much space for advertisement than they do for actual write-up.  This is an era when paid advertisement is necessary to support the publications.  There is no qualm with publications being financially liquid.  The problem is when they omit important information.

Getting back to the motivation behind this post, it is simple — people on social media should be careful what they repeat.  It could be rumors, or outright fake stories.  The issue of discrimination in using public rest rooms is serious. Fake stories impugn the issue.

Feel free to use this thread for open discussion.

What’s On Your Mind?

Posted on 05/28/2016, in open discussion, Potpourri and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. Amen. Truth – whole and exact and nothing but it. One little twist is a lie.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Run by a husband and wife team – that’s right, no big office of investigators scouring public records in Washington, no researchers studying historical stacks in libraries, no team of lawyers reaching a consensus on current case law. Nope, Snopes.com is just a mom-and-pop operation that was started by two people who have absolutely NO FORMAL BACKGROUND OR EXPERIENCE IN INVESTIGATIVE RESEARCH!!!
    http://asheepnomore.net/2013/10/26/snopes-gets-snoped/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Lady!
      I don’t think that Snopes represents itself as a site of investigative research. Investigative research generally originates a subject or issue, and ferrets out what has not been made public. Snopes addresses stories that have already originated and then references to whether the information is true, false, or partially false.

      I don’t represent this blog as a site for investigative research either — it’s a place of references to where I get information. I discovered the missing information before Snopes reported on the false article. Snopes has referred to this blog, by a link, to support what it presents on another particular issue because it deemed the article I wrote as a report, supported for where I obtained the information.

      World Net Daily cites the Mikkelsons as stating,
      “The Mikkelsons admit, however, that Snopes is only as reliable as the sources it cites, and they invite readers to look for the truth themselves.”

      Personally, I would not rely on “asheepnomore” because whomever wrote that piece didn’t have the decency to use a by-line —not even an anonymous handle.

      Sherman Skolnick did not have a background in law, nor investigative research, but his digging ended up in a case that promoted the career of John Paul Stevens to the Supreme Court.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. yahtzeebutterfly

    Great tips, Xena. The 5 W’s. Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey Yahtzee! It’s a standard rule, but I do understand that many people, especially on Twitter, read the tweet that consists of 140 characters of less including the link to the source, and then retweet it without first reading and questioning why certain information is missing.

      There are some sources that are trustworthy, and some that are not. Which presents another problem with Twitter giving what is called “short links” that do not include the name of the source.

      We know that some folks circulated stories from the Onion as truth.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Great post! I love truth seekers! I happened upon your link at Jacqueline’s party, and I’ll definitely come back. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  5. “A lie told often enough becomes the truth” unless people like you make the effort to expose it!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I always fact check stories that don’t fit my beliefs/agenda/position. I’m learning to fact check those that do! Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Plato quoted: on the dangers of the tongue and the problems, it can cause.

    Like

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