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No Amount of Apologies Can Correct Misinformed People

As someone who check out1 news from major tech blog regularly, the ability to filter and verify the validity of news is important. Blogging is easier with the access of information and the help of technology. One can write a summary of news from the press release or a thread in Reddit without confirming first.

Yesterday, we had a pile of false reporting from major tech blog. Most of them didn’t apologize for false reporting, or at least admitted that it was their fault.

I guess it’s a common occurrence in this field. Write a story, publish it, and correct it later if it’s proven wrong. Has the ease of blogging made writers to neglect the impact of misreporting?

Once a major tech blog publishes a story, especially the breaking one, their readers are going to share it to their social circle. It can be a tweet or just a casual conversation during lunch. The misinformed people will continue the cycle and spread the story, although not always, to their friends. As a result, we have a lot of misinformed people.

But wait. Didn’t they apologize and update the story to let their readers know there was a mistake? Yes, it’s still useless.

Unlike us who follow news regularly, some of those misinformed people don’t care which site they’re reading the news. They only care how popular the stories are. They see an interesting title and a link, click it, read the news, and leave the site. Do you think they’ll check the same story twice? Nope. I bet they won’t even know which site the story originated from.

See the problem? Information spreads. No amount of apologies can correct misinformed people. That’s why getting the story right in the first place is far more important than correcting it later.

To be fair, avoiding misreporting is impossible. Sometimes the problem lies with the sources, not the writers. This is where journalism plays its part.

There aren’t many effective ways to fix consequences caused by misreporting. The most common attempt is sharing the updated story through the social media. For a blog, writing a separated post to correct previously published post shows how much you care about your readers.

  1. Do people read all those news?