It’s time for a letter from the editor. I don’t do this often, but maybe I should.
Yesterday I got many messages from people thinking there were “busloads” of bad folks coming to Benton and Bryant to do damage. One threat even mentioned a specific neighborhood.
Not one person knew the source of the information, no one had pictures, no one experienced anything first-hand. Yet people thought it was going to happen, passed on that info many times publicly, and were afraid in their homes.
Meanwhile, what took place in our community was just a few peaceful protesters, trying to further their cause of racial equality. That’s it.
So what do you do?
1. Please, before you repeat the message, research the message. “My friend told me” is not a credible source. You’re hurting your community by spreading the story.
2. Whoever told you or published the story, ask them this question and it will naturally lead you on a path to whether it’s credible:
- How did you get this information?
- From that answer, search for proof. Photos, screenshots, a legitimate news source.
3. Also, if you don’t know what some of the words mean in a social media post or article, look them up. Don’t rely on your friends for this one. Look up the words or abbreviations by going to Google or another search engine. Look at what several different legitimate news or information sources say.
We all have enough to think about right now without rumors scaring people. It takes away from the real message that all of us are created equal and should be treated with respect, dignity and compassion.
If you’re interested enough to know more about what this writer thinks on the subject of the protests, I have written it on my personal Facebook page at this link: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10207426222131633&set=a.1420589292638&type=3.
The Little Rock Police addressed this matter later in the day on social media, saying “We urge our community to remain highly skeptical of information issued by non-verified sources. We have witnessed numerous screenshots, social media messages, and rumors regarding the recent protests. Be aware of potential misinformation and do not pass on unverified statements.”