Of course, people don’t write their own headlines. But when they post their own pieces on Facebook, and don’t disclaim the headlines, they are responsible for the ensuing presentation:
Reading that Facebook entry, one would get the impression that Scott Eric Kaufman was claiming that a police protestor had been “run over” by the cops. No?
There was a video showing the aftermath of the incident, with a guy screaming that THEY RAN A POLICE CRUISER OVER HER!!!!! People were screaming “NO JUSTICE NO PEACE!!!” and shouting that “THIS IS GOING ON NATIONAL NEWS!!!!!!!!1!!!!!!” I took SEK to task pretty quickly, since these declamations seemed to me to utterly lack credibility:
THEY RAN A POLICE CRUISER OVER HER!!!! That report seems quite credible.
After all, the woman seemed pretty much fine after being “run over.” Anyway, shortly after I started hassling SEK over this, this correction appeared at Raw Story:
[CORRECTION: This article originally claimed that police “ran over” a protester. However,video of the incident shows a police SUV slowly backed into the woman and an officer who tried to move her out of the way. Neither the woman nor the officer appeared to be hurt. Raw Story regrets the error.]
And the headline got changed from the cops having “run over” the woman to having “back[ed] into” her.
Want to see the cops RUNNING OVER THIS WOMAN WITH A POLICE CRUISER!!!!!!11!!1!!!? Scroll to about 3:40, to watch the woman walking into a police cruiser idling backwards at about .5 mph. A police officer tries to grab her out of harm’s way as the cruiser barely taps her.
OH MY GOD THE HUMANITY!!!!!1!!!
I have spent the time since then trying to shame SEK into admitting that maybe he screwed up. His position? He sekritly tried to communicate his skepticism, and trusted his readers to pick up on his implicit concerns about the validity of the story. Also, he doesn’t write the headlines, so even if he links the story on his private Facebook feed, and it contains a totally misleading headline, he is not responsible for that because SQUIRREL!!!!!