Recent fake news shows importance of verification

Dillan Schorfheide, Sports Editor

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I feel like it should go without me saying so, but please check everything you read or hear.

A couple scenarios have popped up recently that make this idea needed for another visit.

The National Basketball Association’s championship has passed, and free agency is coming up in a few days. If you are a basketball fanatic like I am, you know how big that is.

With the season ending, reports of current teams and teammates are coming out.

One report said James Harden and Chris Paul, the stars of the Houston Rockets, started arguing with each other a lot this season.

As a joke (it should have been obvious as a joke), a tweet was posted that said Paul made fun of Harden’s “man boobs,” and they argued after that.

The account itself is a troll account, and such a story is clearly tweeted as a joke.

But a Fox Sports analyst used that tweet as fact on a show, seemingly getting the other analyst to believe it as well.

Of course, everyone on Twitter laughed, but it proves a point that we need to be skeptical of everything. Even professionals mess up, so everyone needs to be on their toes.

Another situation, again with the sports world (sorry), had people believing Brett Favre was going to come out of retirement for a second time and play in the National Football League again.

The picture showed his name on an Instagram account (or some social media account) with the verified checkmark, saying that his passion for football made him come back to play.

People took it as fact, again, and started getting excited and talking about it.

But, of course, the picture was found to be fake again.

Pictures can look real, I know, but Photoshop is something a lot of people have and easily use.

Perhaps this idea of verifying everything should be kept in mind even more so Wednesday, when Democratic presidential candidates will debate, kickstarting the campaigning season for next year’s presidential election.

People will likely post things on social media, showing themselves to be outraged over something a candidate supposedly said. A lot of these posts will be fake to try and pull one over on us.

Trustworthy news outlets will have constantly-updated fact checks throughout the night, I am sure, and, even better yet, just watch it.

That would be the best way to make sure you know what is true and what is fake.

If people can fall for a fake picture of an athlete saying they will come out of retirement, just imagine what serious things people can make others believe.

That is why we all need to fact check everything we see.

Dillan Schorfheide is a senior journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].