Today as I was perusing my Facebook news feed, a little thread popped up that caused me to look again. It was a politically charged article from a website calling themselves The Daily Currant and the article was about my state of residence, North Carolina.
The headline speaks for itself: something that would cause any reader to click and collect “facts.” I clicked, and read the 13 paragraph “article.” The further down I got, the more skeptical I became.
Aside from being a former mass comm major and knowing my AP style (which this article clearly was not adhering to) the content was extremely biased and snarky, with lofty political agendas that even in a conservative state such as North Carolina would not fly under the radar for long.
At the bottom of most websites, (or the top, side, depending on the layout design) there is usually a tab for contacts, careers, about, etc. I clicked on the “about” tab to confirm what I already believed.
“The Daily Currant is an English language online satirical newspaper that covers global politics, business, technology, entertainment, science, health and media. It is accessible from over 190 countries worldwide - now including South Sudan.
Our mission is to ridicule the timid ignorance which obstructs our progress, and promote intelligence - which presses forward”
It took me all of 10 seconds to fact check. I didn’t even have to leave the site I was on. None of the content in the aforementioned article was in fact true. It is merely hyperbolic literature aiming to spark an intellectual monologue/dialogue. This is wonderful.
The problem, to me, is this: The person who’d originally posted this link was up in arms ranting and raving as if the article were one hundred percent fact. They unwaveringly believed this was a true story.
We need to realize in this digital era, we have access to anything imaginable. The Daily Currant poses as an online periodical but it is satire, much like The Onion. It was imagined by someone, therefore it exists. We need to be responsible intellectual consumers, much like we are encouraged to be responsible material consumers.
Fact checking is important. We should all aim to do it because it creates and maintains an inherent trust in interpersonal relationships. It creates community. I think it is especially important considering the Mass Media’s recent foibles surrounding the Boston Marathon. No single major news network had their facts 100 percent straight, and yet they were reporting and publishing press releases only to rescind them later. That does not create trust. It’s no question why there is a rift between the media platforms and the people.
I just would like to emphasize the importance of responsibility. We as users of technology face a digital mine field of potential garbage, truth, and fable. It is up to us to check the source of our information. Sometimes it’s as simple as one click. That one click could validate your influence to your community.
- I like going to bed before midnight and waking up early.. Most of the time
- I wish I could cook gourmet food for every meal; we’re talking perfectly poached eggs, parchment paper wrapped protein, and perfectly portioned sides complete with appropriate serve ware. But I can’t. So I don’t.
- The bane of my existence is creative culture. I simultaneously love and hate it, because I’m constantly submerged in it. Even when I extricate myself, my mind wanders back.
- I want to know if I’m doing the “right thing” at all times, which is stupid, but it doesn’t change that.
- I worry about and or dream of the future. And it’s bright, but I have no idea in which way.
- I’m trying so hard to be content with the present. It’s really difficult because I approach life similar to that of a chess game. Tactical moves are pressing my frontal cortex 99 percent of the time.
- I don’t really know “what I do for fun” anymore. See above. I know, it’s disgusting.
- I don’t see my best friends hardly at all. And I don’t really have time or effort enough to entertain new ones.
- my calendar is always full. If I have a day off, I find myself blocking up my time because I don’t know any better anymore, sadly.
- I dream of late nights on a back porch, with close friends, citronella candles, and flowing spirits. But that dream is one of an old spirit.
- I can’t wait to relax. I’m always waiting for that. One day I’ll probably chill out, but it won’t be until I realize I’m actually happy.