Blogs | Ethan Shorey

Truth matters

Many of the same people who hurl accusations that "the media" delivers fake news are the biggest violators when it comes to spreading false stories on social media.

I've seen it over and over: Someone posts an old picture to make a point, gets corrected, then says, "well, that's irrelevant, there are plenty of other examples of this."

That's exactly the point. There are usually plenty of other accurate examples to make your point with, so why go the lazy route and kill your credibility?

A recent example of this came with one of my Facebook friends suggesting that Gov. Gina Raimondo take visiting governors to see a Rhode Island bridge being held up by logs. Someone else responded that the overpass pictured has actually been replaced. The original poster responds: "That's one! I don't even know where that is, and it really doesn't matter. So many look like that around the state."

Truth matters. Posting an old picture of a bridge that's since been replaced isn't truthful. Even if every other bridge in the state looks like that, it's not truthful.

"And so many (bridges) haven't (been fixed)," the poster responds to me. "Really bad ones."

"And if you posted a picture of one of those ones, that would be the truth," I replied. "If a newspaper posted this picture, it would be fake news. If a Facebook user posts it, that illustrates a wider point."

< Back to Ethan Shorey's blog