By Justin Crawford
New iPad will have a jetpack and oxygen tank to fly you to the moon! Ok, so not all rumors are as easy to debunk as that was, but it does bring up an interesting topic: how to determine if an internet rumor is true. With today’s world of on-demand news, it is easy to hear something that is not true and mistake it for fact. I am going to detail a few things that you should watch for whenever you hear something online.
Ok, Twitter is really hard to judge. It seems like every time I check my trending topics, some celebrity is dead, usually Taylor Swift or Adele, which makes me wonder if when they notice they are dead on Twitter they write a sad song (Adele) or write a revenge song (Taylor). So, if someone can start a trend that someone was dead, they could easily fool people with technical stuff as well.
But Twitter can also be right. Twitter can provide you with all kinds of knowledge on products before any other site. So how do you know if something is fact or fiction? That is all in who you follow. If you are following someone that works for a credible source (like @validitymag) then you should be ok to believe whatever they post.
Side note: Here’s proof that Twitter can be right and it is all in who you follow. Apparently Whitney Houston’s death was accurately tweeted by the niece of her hair dresser 45 minutes before it was released by the Associated Press. Source.
Someone Close to the Situation
How many times have you read an article that contained that phrase? I see it every day! And every day, I am just as skeptical. It can be for anything–a new phone, tablet, app, company merger or what Peyton Manning will do next. Whenever I read “someone close to the situation” I think how close? Closer than me? That’s nothing! I feel like if someone has credible knowledge of any situation they should man up and give out their name, or at least give us their job title. So for me, I always take anything that involves the phrase “someone close to the situation” with a huge grain of salt. Well, someone close to situation says that I feel this way, anyway.
A Factory in China
This is a huge one in the tech world. I can’t count how many times I have read an article about the iPhone 5 or iPad 3 that says some factory in China is now making the device with this or that feature. How reliable is that?
Think about it, it’s not like the factory released a statement saying, “Hey we are now making an iPhone that has a shiny new <insert what you really want in a phone here>.” Seriously what is probably happening is some reporter is paying some factory worker for information. So put yourself in that factory worker’s shoes: work for about 8¢ per day and someone offers you a couple bucks for info on what you are making? The better the story is, the more it pays, I am sure.
These tips will help you be on the lookout for bad information. Now for an exciting announcement! Do you have a tech question? Something about an app or maybe how something works? You can now email these questions to email@example.com. If you email something to us, we might feature it in an article. By emailing, you agree to the following terms and conditions:
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2. If your question is answered, Validity assumes no responsibility for any adverse effects pertaining to your question.
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Justin Crawford holds a degree in Engineering Technology from MTSU. He is employed as a network engineer.