Jun 27, 2012
Telling the Truth
All the brouha over "the facts" about Obama at the USAF Academy graduation just emphasizes the need to ensure what we report is truth. We do our best to fact-check before we publish. With a respectful nod to Rich Buhler, who best explained: "… One of the good things about the explosion of e-rumors on...
We do our best to fact-check before we publish. With a respectful nod to Rich Buhler, who best explained:
"… One of the good things about the explosion of e-rumors on the internet is that it has caused an enormous number of people to be faced with how much of what's passed along to them is not true. It's jarred a lot of people.
"Ordinarily these things are spread word-of-mouth and maybe we might read or hear something that contradicts it, but for the most part in shared interest groups things will get passed around for a long time and believed to be true. But for a lot of people the fact that they can not only send something instantaneously, but they very often get a response instantaneously from somebody else saying, "Thanks for the email, but that's a hoax," it jars them. They sent it because they really thought it was true.
One of the things that I'm encouraging individuals to do is to pause and think about this and to develop personal rules of evidence. I don't want create a bunch of cynical people, but to realize that a lot of what's passed around just simply is not accurate. And not just on the internet, but for what gets passed around about people at work, and what gets passed around about people in the family, and all the rumors and all the self-serving stories that are damaging to other people.
I suggest for example that we ought to try, and none of us is going to be perfect at this, but just to love the Truth. Just to love the satisfaction that we nudged at least as close to it as we possibly can.
And maybe that we'll come up with some personal standards that, "You know what, if it doesn't seem to have a good first hand source, why should I even pass it on to anybody else?" That's really scriptural! The scriptural standard is to let every fact be established by the testimony of two witnesses, that is, when there are facts that are going to determine somebody's guilt or innocence. So really the bottom line is to hopefully participate in helping encourage people to realize this, make some personal choices, and not to damage people with information that may not be true.
The other thing that I tell people is that when they click that mouse to send an email, they have become a publisher. They have published on the largest publishing entity that has ever existed.
If we are unhappy that our news outlets are not reporting the truth, then it is incumbent upon us ALL to do our best to pass along only factually correct information — we all know the truth is ALARMING ENOUGH all on its own!
We appreciate that as time marches on, more and more facts and details become evident about any incident such as this.
Our-Voices-Arkansas has its "personal rules of evidence." We typically fact-check over several sources and are committed to Telling the Truth. We'll do even better in the future.
Let us know if you see it differently!