Careful: Don’t believe everything you read

by beth on August 15, 2017

I don’t want to get into too many details (and frankly, I don’t know most of them anyway.)* But it seems that some incorrect information on social media led to an unfortunate situation for a Southborough family. 

Purportedly, one of the white supremecist protesters in Charlottesville over the weekend used to live in Southborough. The home, now owned by a different family, was listed and shared on Facebook. A post yesterday on the group “Sobo Parents Share & Care” clarified that the information was wrong.

According to a commenter, the current residents were subjected to threats.

That’s something I wouldn’t condone even if the information was correct. (I don’t believe that it’s right to threaten violence against others for speech – even when the speech is hateful.)

But the reason for this post is just to remind people to be careful about assuming what you see on Facebook or Twitter is real. And, between the lines, it seemed that the source of the information may have been a blog. 

As a blogger, I can tell you – be careful about relying on blogs as a news sources, too. I do my best, but even I make mistakes. (Some have been whoppers.)

Anyone can post a blog. And not all bloggers are concerned with even trying to convey the truth. So, this is a good reminder that we should all do a little homework on information sources before sharing what we read.

*[Note: I’m not casting stones at the initial poster of the info. I only read about the incident after a Facebook post was “corrected”. So, I’m not sure exactly what initially occurred. But in case the news spread to readers who hadn’t yet learned that it wasn’t true – I wanted to help spread that word.]

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jerry Kane August 15, 2017 at 3:43 PM

Thank you for clarifying this issue. I had seen the (mis) information online, and I was hoping that you would clarify matters. I hope others get the word. This sort of stuff happens alot when tensions are high and information is being shared rapidly on social media.

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2 Kelly Roney August 16, 2017 at 8:57 AM

Remember the first guys the internet “identified” as the Marathon bombers? It’s best to be skeptical of IDs from photos downloaded from the web. A lot of people look alike.

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3 Mike fuce August 18, 2017 at 9:39 AM

Interesting that those on the left listed the house incorrectly and put the families that live there in serious danger. You on the left need to police your people. It’s unacceptable what you’re allowed to go on with your hate. Including hate of the president, of anything conservative, hate of white people, hate of police, everything you on the left hate . A family member has a friend whose family, normal people , high income people , that are ravenous and I mean hateful anti-anything conservative. That left liberal groups post could’ve got these people in this house injured maybe even seriously. I see the hate and the venom on this blog at times , it’s all over the Internet and we need to start to approach things with balance. I disagree with most of you but I do not hate you.

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4 beth August 18, 2017 at 10:23 AM

“You on the left need to police your people.” Interesting. You seem to be saying that liberals are responsible for the policing of other liberals.

I agree that anyone who threatened a family harm was in the wrong. And I’m sure that you consider me a liberal. I don’t know how you think that I was/am supposed to police other people who I have never met or had any contact with.

Perhaps you could give an example by explaining how you, a self-professed conservative, have gone about policing other conservatives who spew hate and encourage violence.

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5 Jerry Kane August 18, 2017 at 11:01 AM

Actually a solid (non-political) treatment of this phenomenon of doxing (i.e. outing people on the internet) in Wired Magazine that might be worth a read. https://www.wired.com/story/doxing-charlottesville/

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6 Matt August 21, 2017 at 12:49 PM

You can call upon liberals to tone down the rhetoric of those on the fringes of the left, but the true elephant in the room is the rank and file conservatives’ enablement of hate-mongering bigots. Until I see a legitimate condemnation of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville from all conservatives, the issue that you point out can go on the backburner. If anything, your post seems like a deflection intended to draw attention away from the right’s enablement of hate.

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7 Jonas August 18, 2017 at 10:27 AM

When did this blog become so political? Why does everything have to arrive at a certain side or view. It’s sad and we need less of it. Take care of yourself, community, family, and neighbors.

When are the K-12 bus routes being made public?

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8 beth August 18, 2017 at 10:52 AM

Was wondering that myself this morning and planned to reach out. But I noticed that most past years, I didn’t have the information to share until the week of 8/20.

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9 Mike fuce August 18, 2017 at 12:29 PM

I think if you need to be told as an adult how to example love rather than hate I can’t help you

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10 beth August 18, 2017 at 1:36 PM

Mike, showing love is very different from policing hate. As often is the case on the blog, you lobbed a general attack out of nowhere and now are defensive when questioned.

I’ll be happy to let the subject drop if you choose. But first, I want to point out that I’m not the one doing the hating. As I said – both in my initial post and my response to you – I don’t agree with threatening anyone.

My underlying point was that I don’t think the majority of liberals associate themselves with the people who make violent threats.

While I don’t agree with many of the views you have shared in the past, I don’t consider you responsible for the actions of hate groups. So I hope you don’t consider all of the “left” responsible for somehow managing extremists on the left.

If instead of somehow policing the extremists – you mean that we should all strive to exemplify love over hate, that I don’t disagree with. If you meant something more, I was looking for you to explain it.

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11 Kelly Roney August 18, 2017 at 4:44 PM

So, Mike, you’re not policing the conservative hate because it’s too late for adults who don’t know how to love. Good to know.

You could still police your own polarizing comments. But you don’t. You come here and sow division, almost every time you comment. It looks like the purpose of most of your comments.

Then you make platitudes about love. Whatevah.

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12 Mike fuce August 18, 2017 at 2:25 PM

Beth I think it was self-explanatory and there was no defensiveness, I think that comes from your side of the aisle. but your last paragraph I agree with wholeheartedly. Have a nice weekend

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