The words "may have": the scummy reporter's best friends.
Because "citizen journalism" means never having to say you're a wrong dickhead.
One-Sided Accounts Against Organizations Aren't News
If you haven't already noticed, most of my manly unsheathed rage has to do with the media boiling someone's personal problems into a headline or meme and then hucking that bullshit into the viral gorge. And the biggest reason for this is that we'll never get the full story when we're coming at it with an already established villain and/or hero. For example: any time a helpless student or school employee gets in trouble for something innocent.
What's next? A music teacher fired for being TOO cool?
That kid had a history of physical harassment, but since it's not something the school was legally allowed to disclose, we only get the angry parents' totally objective side. Same with the lunch lady: the school says they can't legally disclose the reason she was fired, which happens a lot in educational establishments. Sometimes, we don't have the full story because (as difficult as it may be for our outrage-starved brains to comprehend) we're not fucking supposed to.
If you're wondering why I'm focusing on such small potatoes, it's because my brain is physically unable to withstand the full-scale version of this dirty fuckingness for long periods of time ...
It took me 50 10-second intervals to Photoshop this without hemorrhaging out.
That there is the now-infamous Gawker article publicly outing the CFO of a major company for being gay after a (conspiracy theory lunatic) prostitute blackmailed him for not helping with a landlord dispute. That means instead of the headline "Crazy Asshole Blackmails Man," they opted to act as an accomplice to the extortion of a man whose sexuality in no way affects anyone's life but the one they just ruined. Wrap your fucking skull passenger around that slice of journalistic nihilism the next time you consider clicking on another Gawker article. Seriously, as someone who researches the news on a daily basis, I'm telling you to stop reading Gawker right now. They're an insufferable garbage business that doesn't care about the news.
In fact, here's a new logo for you.
Don't look up the article I'm referring to.
You're totally Googling it right now, aren't you? Fuck.
That's better ... I guess.
Gawker eventually took down the article, much to the consternation of their staff, who responded with the least sympathetic protest ever mounted in the name of editorial integrity. But -- even after wide swathes of civilization decided they were assholes -- Gawker sure as shit raked in those schadenfreude clicks, thanks to an interminable series of followup articles (both in-house and by other outlets) detailing exactly how their website was falling into the ocean.
And that's the problem. In the end, the dirty little lie we're all telling ourselves is that the reactionary news we share on social media is anything besides self-indulgent. And the more we define what's "newsworthy" based off our dumbshit, primordial, saber-toothed-tiger-fearing emotional reactions instead of our reasoning skills, the more the news will desperately try to appeal to that impulsive side of us that can't help but to hit the "share" button. All I'm asking is that you think for a second before doing so.
Except for this. Please share this immediately and without question.
Dave has been researching the news for over two goddamn years. Send him condolences on Twitter.
Also check out 6 BS Medical Stories Your Friends Shared On Facebook and The 5 Weirdest Ways the Modern World Changed Human Behavior.