Blogs | Ethan Shorey

The hypocrisy of 'fake news' charges

The only thing that frustrates me more than the flippant use of the term "fake news" is watching people who post regular lies on social media use it about others. How many times have you seen someone post a story from five years ago as if it's new? Or post a meme with no basis in reality just to make their point, not even bothering to verify for accuracy? Yet those same people seem to be the first ones screaming about the "fake" mainstream media.

And many times it's not just posting something in error and then saying "whoops." When you correct them, they not only leave it up but they mock you and then double down on the lie.

Nowhere was this hypocrisy more evident than with the March 14 storm that never quite materialized for parts of southern New England. I'd seen many people posting a snow map from ABC 6 showing a possible 30 or more inches of snow. I tried to tell a few of those who posted it before the storm that the map was from two years ago, but they scoffed at me. An ABC 6 anchor even put out an announcement that it was too early to be releasing snow maps, but people kept posting it as fact.

Then came the post-clunker avalanche of criticism because the three feet never materialized, some of it very justified over the National Weather Service deciding not to downgrade the severity storm despite having evidence to the contrary. But the ABC 6 map also resurfaced, with people using it to mock all the weather people as hype/con artists. One guy even posted the map with a caption blaming the station for him having to take the day out of work. For good measure, he added the very informed #fakenews hashtag. I told him the map was from two years ago, but he left it up. He'd made his great point and he was sticking to it.


< Back to Ethan Shorey's blog