Stop Being Lazy!

OK, I hate to be this blunt. And I’ve made posts about this before. It’s becoming a WTF tradition at this point; I think I post about this topic at least once a year.

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of emails, tweets, and my Facebook feed is blowing up… with tweets from Maxine Waters. I’ve seen one about the effects of global warming, with an image of the tide going out. That seems to be the most popular, but isn’t the only one.

They are always accompanied by self righteous outrage of people who think their clap backs are on point. Um…

Let’s take a look shall we. Here’s the latest to grace my feed:

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The circled area is continuously missed. Let me point some things out.

First off, when a politician, celebrity, or other public figure has a Twitter account, they look like this:

Capture

What is in that picture that isn’t in the tweet above? That’s right… a blue badge with a check mark in it. That means the account is verified. That means the account belongs to whoever it claims it is. This picture is from Maxine Waters’ actual Twitter page.

Once you notice a screen captured tweet does not include that, further research must be done (some accounts on Twitter for whatever reason do get unverified because Twitter doesn’t like the person). The next step is to check the handle. Now, recently there was one going around that was attributed to Chelsea Clinton. Her actual Twitter handle is @ChelseaClinton. This tweet obviously was put up by the handle @ClintonChelsea. Also not verified. That should have raised questions and sparked a visit to the account page to verify. In this case above, you’ll notice the red circle around the handle in the tweet. The name says MaxineVVaters, not MaxineWaters. For those with eyes as bad as mine, that is two Vs instead of a W.

Just in case, head over to the Twitter account. You’ll see (as of June 4, 2017, 10:17 PM):

parody

Oh. It says it right there. All you had to do was check.

Look, I know someone is going to get their panties in a wad over the tone of this post. And I’m sorry for you (f your feelings, though). It happens every time I bring this subject up. But it’s important, and it is getting tiresome.

The usual comment? “It sounds like something she’d say!”

Fair enough. But she didn’t. And you are being played like a fiddle. When you get people who recognize that you took it seriously and then didn’t own up to the fact that you made an honest mistake – and/or keep pushing it even after being let in on the joke – people quit taking you seriously. Now everything you post is suspect. You make yourself look bad, and you take the rest of us down with you.

I’ve made the mistake. I’m not pretending to be above it. Yes, I have posted articles that I believed were true, only to find out later that they were satire. However, I immediately owned up to it, took the story down, apologized, and stopped passing it around. And since then, I’ve gotten a lot more critical of stories. If they seem to be too good to be true, they probably are and tear into them with the fire of a thousand suns. My goal is to never make that mistake again.

If you want our arguments to be taken seriously, we need to stop being lazy. Notice things about these tweets. Notice the lack of verification, the misspelled names, the fact that it is too juicy to be real. Let people know if they are passing around things that aren’t true. If someone points it out to you, take it down, or at least apologize for the error and set the record straight. Just because you desperately want it to be real doesn’t mean it is and should be defended. Let’s keep our arguments fact based.

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