As soon as I saw the URL, I knew The Wired story was fake*. Since I’ve been harping about accountability , news source reliability, retraction, responsibility, question all sources — regardless of it’s trusted journalists and or publications lately, I thought this would be a good chance for me to prove my point: Think before repeating or spreading information.
Turns out, this was the biggest mistake I made.
My original plan was after posting, let the conversation go a little, before asking questions. Am I at fault? What if the news was something that wasn’t clearly fake? Would you be quick to point the finger at me? Or would you blame the news source?
…that was my plan.
Well I messed up because I spread it on both FriendFeed and Twitter – I should’ve just stuck to posting on FriendFeed. Then Sean started a few threads, stating I was spreading false information. So while I started putting out the fire that I started, the moment was lost and I couldn’t go back to my original thread to prove my point. Massive FAIL.
That said, I will ask this question again:
Should I be held accountable for spreading false information? Would you have still questioned the story even if it wasn’t blatantly false? With the speed of information spreading, do you plan on sharing differently?
And a new question stemmed from all of this: Do most people read beyond headlines?
*Proof = I sent the tip to my friend over at Giz, who published it right away as well as my comment immediately following: look at the URL.