Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Social media does not make it true!

That is it. I am letting out an angry rant blog finally. I have made it a point to keep my posting civil and thought out, but I am going to vent some. Hopefully there will be a point to all this.

Earlier this week TMZ broke the story of MJ passing away with no confirmed sources. At that time the average person was skeptical of it. TMZ is not the most reliable source always and has a habit of exaggerating somethings, at least in my experience. The story was not truth to many until NY Times or LA Times or CNN verified it. Later that day social media broke the deaths of George Clooney and Jeff Glodblum. In case you hadn't heard, nothing happened to them and they are still kicking.

These stories were pranks in the aftermath of a pretty dramatic day with MJ and Ms. Fawcett leaving us. That is to be expected I suppose. I remember hearing about UFOs on 9/11.

Then Billy Mays died and his son broke it through Twitter and, here is the key part, it was true. It has been a sad week, having been kicked off with the death of Ed McMahon.

Tonight though, Twitter let me know that both Rick Astley and Paris Hilton had died. And Yahoo Answers had the SEO firepower to show up with enough posts to make it seem like it may be true. The truth of it all though is that 4chan members decided to capitalize on the four deaths and the gullible nature of many social media users.

I was told to take everything with doubt by John Kass during a very lucky interview I had with him once upon a time. I took that to heart and dove into the underbelly of the Internet to find the truth. Long story short, I was Rick Rolled, a lot.

So here is my point. Users of social media, take everything with a grain of salt. Nearly the only power major media has left is reputation. Let them use it and confirm information you know and purge you of ignorance. The FTC is planning to regulate bloggers and right now I can understand why, as much as that hurts me.

So, when you get onto Twitter or Facebook or whatever, bring your instincts and common sense with you.


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