Forget about FAKE NEWS. Our bigger problem is DUMB NEWS.
What’s dumb news? Example headlines:
- Man goes on racist tirade in NYC Starbucks.
- Woman uses n-word after Panera order botched.
- Trump supporter goes ballistic at liberal neighbors.
Sharing such stories only divides people. It’s just a play for more “likes.”
Identify dumb news with the following guide:
- Story’s bad guy is one person, likely with serious mental health issues.
- Story’s incident happened thousands of miles from you, and doesn’t reflect anything you’ve personally seen happen.
- Everyone who hears the story has the exact same reaction and opinion about the bad guy.
- The article was written by someone who wasn’t there, but who only saw a grainy video of the incident.
- Story gets 1M+ views, but sparks no real response (because, at bottom, it’s just mean people being mean).
- The story references everyone’s race and/or political views.
- The story’s headline is some variation of: “Can you believe how bigoted that man/woman is!?”
Don’t share stories like this! And don’t let grainy videos of people being dumb in some faraway city affect how you think about society, your neighbors, or even the perpetrators themselves.
There’s no solving FAKE NEWS until we stop sharing DUMB NEWS.