Per my usual day-to-day routine, I continuously check my twitter throughout the work day. Yesterday was no different. My timeline was filled with the usual stuff: girls tweeting song lyrics (I was guilty of this yesterday- ew), guys tweeting about sports, and the very plain and mundane details of everyone’s life. Yesterday, however, I was caught off-guard by a tweet, which had been responded to by Pierre Tong, as well as retweeted by many others with a picture of this banner:
Now, I do not know this person, nor do I know the person who originally posted the picture, but neither of them did anything wrong- so don’t get this twisted, people. They simply saw something of extreme interest to them and felt like sharing it. It’s safe to say, though, that this picture/information went viral almost immediately in the Clemson online community. This “news” quickly spread via twitter and some even took to Facebook to inform their online friends of Clemson’s new and exciting honor.
This had ‘rumor’ written all over it.
Where was the link to the actual TIME Magazine article? Sure, a picture speaks a thousand words, but in this case, the only words I cared about were “Source:____” and they didn’t exist. So, naturally, I took to the interwebs to get down to the bottom of the news that was spreading through social media like wildfire, and this is what I found:
This screen-cap is from Clemson’s ‘Timeline‘ located on their website. That’s right, folks: Clemson University was named TIME Magazine’s ‘Public College of the Year’ back in 2001. No, I did not do the research to prove anyone wrong. No, I did not do the research so I could have something to tweet. I simply just wanted to know the facts, and quite honestly, I’m surprised that no one else did the same.
All it took was a simple Google search for me to discover that this twitter rumor was just that: a rumor. And boy, did everyone believe it. People weren’t just retweeting the original tweet and picture above, but they were taking that information and creating their own messages, which people were so quick and willing to believe as absolute truth, thus creating a chain reaction that propelled this false news through the twittersphere. Still, no one thought to fact-check what they were talking about. Then, to continue the chain of events, people started changing their Facebook statuses to inform everyone of this brand-new information. Pierre even attempted to poke humor at the situation by tweeting complete satire involving the gamecocks and TIME Magazine and people even took that to be true. *Face-palm* [I literally would NEVER use one of those star-phrase things that I just used, but the situation demanded it.]
The final straw was when my own brother tweeted about the situation, almost 4 hours after the online action had died down. I had nothing to say to him but this:
— paige dolton (@paigemarjorie) July 17, 2012
Moral of the story: check your facts, people. The incident yesterday really didn’t make Clemson fans look that intelligent.
Disclaimer: This post wasn’t meant to make anyone look bad or to say that all Clemson fans are idiots (come on, now). I simply just have a lot of time on my hands.