Do you know what is one of the flaws of social media? The platform is so easy and simple to use that anyone from anywhere can share tweets, posts, snaps, etc. With a simple retweet, one person can reach thousands in a matter of minutes. With this rapid-fire spread of content, false and opinionated information can reach the hands of many in mere seconds. However, you would expect people to fact check or critically examine the tweet/post, but unfortunately, only some individuals do so.
To give you a famous example that happened recently; the Covington Catholic kids and the Aboriginal protestor. If we look at the ten-second clip, we see a teenager smirking at the aboriginal protestor. From that clip, one person found it demeaning and racist and decided to retweet it. That went viral and basically, all North America and the media companies concluded that the boys are racists and hateful. I remember that video coming up on my timeline and to be honest, I didn’t see anything wrong in that video. I kept quiet since I knew if I made any efforts to support the boy, I would get run over by people who felt Nick Sandman was racist. People were agreeing and retweeting like sheep and following the herd, but never once decided to search for the full video or ask for information. Because if you did watch the full video, which I did, you would realize that social media and trend thirsty news companies were shoving false information down our throats. The real racists in that video were the Black Hebrew Israelites who were calling the students “sons of incest” and “future school shooters”. And the aboriginal man who felt “threatened” and said that the Nick Sandman stood in his way, were lies. As Phillips himself stood in front of the boy and started playing the drums.
What were the consequences of mindless retweeting? The boy and his family started receiving death threats, and Sandman’s reputation is basically now meaningless.
False information and opinionated content will always be surfing the internet and may appear on our timelines occasionally. When it does, don’t be sheep and follow the herd. Take time to do your research and sort out the facts before you tweet a lie.