EDITORIAL: Fraud Too Easy To Push On Social Media | Editorials

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Many longtime Tahlequah Daily Press readers are not thrilled with the required foray into the digital world. They still like to hold the print edition – smell the newsprint, smell the ink. They also prefer books to e-readers. And many dislike social media, although some have accounts to follow with family and friends.

Savvy people are suspicious of social media and realize that an alarming percentage of what they read there is propaganda. Some communist regimes have always been good at it, and in social media they have found a fertile audience of people who have mistakenly convinced themselves that they are deep thinkers, doing their own “research” and putting it on everything. the world. It is disheartening for those who value the truth.

It’s ironic that many of the biggest troublemakers on Facebook timelines don’t even use their real names. Likewise, people using fake personalities are among the first to cry out when they think their “freedom of speech” has been violated. They are convinced that they have the “right” not only to lie, but also to pretend to be someone else. And like all bullies, they enjoy the protection of distance or anonymity. Their main objective is to harass and belittle others, and to spread disinformation in the hope that it will attract a few well-meaning observers.

Facebook recently tried to find people using false identities. A few weeks ago, followers of the TDP timeline reported on a man claiming to be the leader of the Cherokee Nation. He had never been a chief – at least, not under his poseur name – and it’s safe to say that anyone else who served as a tribal chief would comment openly, under his real name. This man eventually vanished from the Aether, so it’s likely Facebook threw him away. This is also the case for people who claim names like “Imakillya Ifyadissme” or “Thomas Jefferson”, claiming to be the Framer himself. Perversely, the same malcontents who tout “fake media” are themselves fakes.

It is impossible to eliminate all the fakes – and it is not necessary, if their positions are innocuous. When they become vicious, it may be necessary to take action. And when that happens, politics is usually involved. This is why many media try to limit or ban campaigns on their calendars. Poll after poll, most people don’t want to see this anyway. Either they have already decided who will get their votes, or they prefer to get the details of the candidates from a more reliable source. Increasingly, that source is not the politicians themselves.

False identity – which, by the way, is a real crime – isn’t the only fraud perpetrated against social media users. Most page administrators seek help from subscribers to select and ban violators. Also because of fraud, most newspapers pay attention to the requests they honor. For example, a number of people have attempted to use TDP and others to raise funds through GoFundMe accounts for causes that are not particularly fair, such as buying a new car or paying for expenses. tuition fees. Or, they try to use open forums as a means of advertising. This is understandable for companies that have few followers, while TDP has nearly 32,000.

Perhaps the most concerning type of fraud is missing person reports. TDP will not release these without law enforcement sanction, as too many mothers have repeatedly reported that their teens are “missing” when the kids go out and spend the night with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Gaining sympathy for a situation that does not exist is not fair, which is why journalists must rely on law enforcement for appropriate reporting.

We will continue next Friday with further explanation of social media policies.


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