Monday, September 08, 2014

Be Your Own Curator

I've talked before about how the joy of the internet is that you can connect with people across the world and yet, it therefore becomes easier to believe that you are seeing everything, instead of a carefully curated list of people and topics you have decided are of interest to you.  Or, it's a big internet out there.  You're really only looking at part of it. 
Don't get me wrong, this is amazing.  And I find it particularly interesting as things develop in areas and on topics that the US media tends to report on narrowly, that we all have options, whether it's reading news and reporting from other countries or reading on the ground reports from citizens be they in Missouri or Israel.  It is a wide, wide world out there.  But, by removing the filters and restraints of relying on the news that is provided to you, you also lose some filters of fact.  Citizens on the ground may or may not have the same agenda of truth.  (And yes, not all reporters are truth driven.  There are layers in place to try to make sure there is truthiness, but sure, not a given.)  Much of this is just good internet protocol.  Things get retweeted, shared, and reblogged, fast.  Much like a game of telephone, things can get distorted.  They also, invariably, get shared faster than the correction or update.  Sometimes when you track back you'll see the originator has deleted it to try and stop the spread, but it's still going strong.  And, hey, mistakes and errors happen.  But just like that time you forwarded that email about the free trip to Disney (what?) you go back and you apologize for the misinformation.  And you try to get better at verifying things. 
It is a great big world.