|Skeptical child does not believe you|
In their book, Blur, veteran journalists, Bill Kovach and Tom Rosensteil introduce the concept of “skeptical knowing.” Skeptical knowing is about asking and knowing how to answer a series of systematic questions, (Kovach & Rosensteil, 2013), in an effort to verify the accuracy of information. Verifying information before you share ensures that you are viewed as a reliable source of accurate information. Whether you are sharing news about the latest celebrity gossip or the Ebola scare that is consuming the nightly television news, it is important to always be as accurate as possible with your information.Even if we do not make our livings professionally communicating information to others we all must abide by ethics. Ethically sharing information requires us to know the relevant facts, good or bad of a situation. Going back to the Ebola panic that is slowing growing across the United States, I have witnessed on my various social media outlets, an article from the website, National Report, , being shared as casually as one would share information about the Real Housewives of Whatever City. The National Report is a satirical site and the story about a Texas town being quarantined to due to an outbreak of Ebola is completely false. The article has been shared 118,000 times on Facebook and 1,222 times on Twitter (National Report, 2014). Despite having been verified as being false by snopes.com and The Washington Post as late as today (October 19, 2014) readers of the National Report site continue to comment on the article as if it actual fact.
|Kermit Sipping Tea|
In today’s age of rapid technological advancement, where anybody can upload an article or blog, post to the Internet, and reach thousands or millions of people, we all must be a bit more skeptical and not just accept everyone’s word as fact. We have to research and verify multiple sources. Once we are confident in the validity of our research we need to ask ourselves why this information is important enough to be shared. By sharing this information, who are the individuals or groups that will be most affected (Markkula Center, 2014)? Creating a false story about a potentially deadly virus in the hopes of gaining more hits to your website is not only unethical, but has the potential to cause unnecessary panic and further spread misinformation across the information superhighway.
Agni, J. M. (2014, October 14). Texas town quarantined after family of five test positive for the
Ebola virus | National Report. Retrieved October 18, 2014, fromhttp://nationalreport.net/texas-town-quarantined-family-five-test-positive-ebola-virus/
Google Images. (2014). Kermit Sipping Tea [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://www.tickld.com
Google Images. (2014). Skeptical African Child [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://ct.fra.bz/ol/fz
Kovach, B., & Rosenstiel, T. (2010). Blur: How to know what's true in the age of information
overload. New York, NY: Bloomsbury.
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. (2014). A framework for thinking ethically. Retrieved October
16, 2014, from http://www.scu.edu/ethics/practicing/decision/framework.html
National Report. (2014, October 14). Texas town quarantined after family of five test positive for the
Ebola virus | National Report. Retrieved October 18, 2014, from http://nationalreport.net/texas-
Snopes.com. (2014, October 14). snopes.com: Texas town quarantined after family of five test
positive for the Ebola virus. Retrieved October 19, 2014, from http://www.snopes.com/media