The Importance of Facts

Rani Hamilton, Staff Writer

False information has the ability to spread 20 times quicker than it used to with the internet. If somebody sees a tweet with false information on Twitter, they’re most likely not going to look much farther into it. They see a headline that’s offensive to them and immediately rage about it. Most of the time, though, that headline is from a satire website and proves nothing. By now, I thought people would understand the internet is rarely trustworthy. Why do people continue to believe false information instead of researching themselves and forming their own opinions?

When you’re about to go into a debate about clashing opinions, facts are your best friend. If you pull something out of thin air, and then it turns out to be completely inaccurate, it will only hurt your argument. It doesn’t matter if you’re arguing about politics, iPhone vs. Android, the best One Direction song, or what state is the most useless. You need to have facts to back up basically everything that has formed your opinion.

Twitter is overflowing with fake news stories and fake facts that are retweeted thousands of times. Sure, there are plenty of people replying to the tweet informing the person who tweeted it that it is indeed fake, but rarely does anyone look at that. It’s always just see it, read it, retweet it. This has only worsened during election season, with people retweeting stories from well-known satire news websites that slandered either candidate. In order to stay away from the absolute mess politics is, though, an example from culture right now would be the recent controversy about the movie A Dog’s Purpose.

TMZ released a clip of a dog’s legs from A Dog’s Purpose being “forced” into rushing water while the dog is seemingly terrified. The clip shows the trainer doing this, then the clip cuts to a different scene where the dog is being rescued from the rushing waters being used in one scene. It was assumed that the two clips were from the same day, despite the random cut, and people were enraged. It spread like wildfire; people were boycotting the movie and petitioning to have it not released in theatres. Barely anyone was suspicious about the random cut in the middle of the video.

It turns out that the clip was edited together. TMZ had taken  two different videos and put them together to make it seem like they ended up forcing the dog into the water when it was definitely not ready to be put into that situation. The dog had been trained for weeks, and they only put him in the water when he was comfortable, hence the second part of the video where the dog is in the water. The scene has finished and the trainer is rescuing the dog out of the water. Of course, only the edited video went around and even now people refuse to see the movie because of the “abuse” the dogs were put through.

Not every debate is going to require cold hard facts, though, such as the One Direction example I used earlier. For that, it would more so just be “Stockholm Syndrome” is One Direction’s best song, because Harry Styles crafted that masterpiece with his bare hands” (That right there is a fact).

Facts are beyond important. Walking around spitting out fake facts is practically one of the worst things you could do today. It’s way too easy to expose lies and reveal the truth these days with the massive amount of communication we have available to us. Looking a bit deeper into something is not too much work, and honestly, you can only ever truly be confident in your opinion if you’ve actually done the extra research to assure yourself that you are right.