Monday, March 14, 2016

Say What? Really?? No? OK, never mind.

At 10:49 this morning, J. Phylon Harris, under her Twitter name "TheLadyHarrisRN" tweeted the following:
Paula White and Joel Osteen are endorsing Donald Trump. All we need are the horsemen. #ApocalypseNow
I appreciated the reference to the book of Revelation, and went to Google to confirm Osteen's endorsement of Trump, with no success.

7 1/2 hours later, Harris' tweet has had 340 retweets and 279 likes - enough to evoke backlash from people who have issues with Osteen, or Trump, or both. Like this, from a fellow named Tommy Campbell, who posts as MrTommyCampbell:
Joel Osteen endorsing Donald Trump makes sense since the crazy Christian conman and the racist billionaire both avoid & deny facts
But the backlash is premature. Osteen hasn't endorsed Trump. sets the story straight in "Joel Osteen & Donald Trump: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know".

I like it when the Internet corrects itself. I only hope that the correction reaches as many eyeballs as the error did. Actually, to be fully corrective, it needs to reach the same eyeballs. Which seems unlikely. And that's too bad, because the ability to have one's misinformation corrected is one of the best things - if not THE best thing - about the Internet.

To help us all make better use of this beast of a tool that we call the Internet, I propose three disciplines, which I'll frame as promises for us to make to ourselves.

1. I WILL acknowledge my own biases and assumptions/expectations.
2. I WILL verify information before repeating it.
3. I WILL be especially careful to verify information that appears consistent with my biases and assumptions.

If you like 'em, spread 'em. And here are the horsemen, per Revelation 6. Just because.

Viktor M. Vasnetsov [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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