On 4 April, 1968, I was 20 years old. That evening, I had the news shift at WLAC, a clear channel AM station in Nashville. In 1968, it was the number one R&B station in the country. Just as my shift was beginning, Martin Luther King, Jr., was shot to death in Memphis. One of the things I learned that night was the importance of getting the facts right.
I held off commenting on the Covington Kid v. Native American story this past weekend. The initial video didn’t look good, but it also didn’t make sense to me. I waited for corroborating facts, and none appeared. In fact, the additional raw footage that surfaced has discredited the narrative spun around the original edited version. It now looks to me as if someone used the edited video to tell a lie, and that lie resulted in a social media mob rioting, trying to figuratively burn down the lives of some kids who got in the way of The Narrative.
Both morality and the facts matter.
Twitter permanently suspended my business and personal accounts in 2015 based on false allegations of targeted abuse. They restored my business account (but not my personal account) when those claims failed in court. If Twitter really desired to be a trustworthy and safe social media platform, it would suspend the accounts that engaged in targeted abuse of the Covington high school students. Based on my experience, I doubt that Twitter will do the right thing.
@jack, prove me wrong.
UPDATE 2—My podcasting partner Stacy McCain has these thoughts here.