Saturday, February 18, 2012

Responsibility on the Internet

Have you ever received forwarded email with stories that have long ago been proven wrong? Or the facts have changed? Snopes is full of such false stories, but how many newbees know about this Website or others like it, and know to check facts before getting on the "FWD" bandwagon?

The Internet is a landing ground for information written by every Tom, Dick and Harry who knows how to tap a keyboard. But, every day someone new learns how to use a search engine…a grandmother who gets a computer, a child in the library gathering data for a school report. Problem is that the search engine doesn't differentiate from articles where details have changed and current facts, unless the author takes the time to go back and mention it.

How hard is it to edit what we have written and place a disclaimer on the first line noting that, while the details were correct at the time it was written, that things have changed so the information is no longer accurate? You know…update the facts!

Back on April 1st, I wrote an article "tongue-in-cheek" as an April Fool's joke. Shortly thereafter, I went back and put at the top of the article that it was originally written on April 1 because, if someone was reading it in November, it could be taken out of context, and people might accept the information provided as acceptable instead of the joke intended. I'm a believer in follow-up. If I tweet something that is a negative situation, should the facts change, I do an equal number of tweets announcing the correction, with pertinent links.

My question is, how many are propagating misinformation by not taking the time to update facts as they evolve? Think about the new generation of outrage that can occur because of old news and what the lasting effects might be.

Food for thought.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...