08.15.19

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Links Are Not Endorsements

Posted in Site News at 2:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

No rollerblades

Summary: If the only alternative is to say nothing and link to nothing, then we have a problem; a lot of people still assume that because someone links to something it therefore implies agreement and consent

WE recently wrote about how Twitter cheapens if not ruins fact-finding/fact-checking. Weeks later it turned out that someone who had decided to declare a person dead was in fact wrong. That person is still alive. The Web is a fascinating maze of fabrications, hearsay, bad reporting, but also good investigative journalism. It’s not always easy to tell apart one from the other and it’s something we work on. Sometimes, including last night, we get feedback; a reader made contact with us to tell us something that we linked to (in daily links) was wrong. It doesn’t happen very often, maybe a couple of times per year and usually when it’s about more sensitive and divisive subjects like Kashmir.

“We don’t link to social control media; we only link to blogs and news sites. That’s still prone to mistakes/issues. But most importantly when we link to something that does not imply we endorse the message.”Our daily links are an effort to make sense of a lot of information. (Mis)information overload is a big problem and the ‘cheapening’ of it, especially because of social control media, means that any random person can utter false words. These things get rated and shared (passed on) based on emotion rather than adherence to facts, so that’s another problem. The scoring is all wrong. Nowadays a lot of so-called ‘articles’ are based on nothing but a “tweet”; that’s another problem.

Sometimes a Web site or an article we link to may offend someone. Sometimes the article is wrong. We don’t link to social control media; we only link to blogs and news sites. That’s still prone to mistakes/issues. But most importantly when we link to something that does not imply we endorse the message. Sometimes we link to sites we do not agree with simply because we need to highlight something that was said, done, or happened. In social control media it’s common to specify in profiles/disclaimers that “links (or other) are not endorsements”; the same applies here.

What we argue in our own (original) articles is another matter altogether. At least those can be judged based on more than a link alone.

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