The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

Opinion

July 22, 2013

Measure twice, cut once

GREENVILLE — It is amazing how quickly Internet rumors spread these days. While widespread Internet access and the rapidly increasing popularity of “smart” phones has made information more accessible than ever before, it has also increased the speed at which false information can spread.

Rumors abound regarding popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter implementing a new system that would force users to pay. And stories about what national and state politicians did (or did not) say or do are commonplace.

What is even more surprising about these rumors is how easily they can be discredited. Recently, a post regarding a statement from President Barack Obama on the Fourth of July made the Facebook rounds. But, upon more research, the source of the story proved to be a satirical website.

Often, websites such as www.snopes.com debunk these rumors and cite their sources. But those same rumors persist.

What all Internet users should know by now is, just because something is published online, does not mean it is factual. The more unreliable a story is, the less likely it is entirely accurate.

Recently, blogs and online newspapers across the country started posting about the removal of a law that prohibited the U.S. government from disseminating propaganda to U.S. citizens. The rumor indicated that the U.S. government would begin feeding this propaganda to U.S. news outlets.

While this story is sensationalist in nature, it did contain certain truths. There really was a law that prohibited the state department from granting access to propaganda disseminated to foreign countries to U.S. citizens. And certain restrictions of that law, the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948, were removed.

In reality, however, some U.S. citizens were frustrated by the fact that they could not be given official access to the public relations information we were sending to other countries. And, all of this information was available on the Internet, anyway.

That’s not to say that American citizens and journalists shouldn’t be wary about the information the state department can now give us.

After all, you can’t believe everything you read on the Internet.

The opinion expressed here is that of the Herald-Banner editorial board.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • School supplies, football signs of end of summer

    It is not here yet, but there are two landmarks on the horizon which traditionally indicate the end of summer is approaching.

    July 27, 2014

  • This is ... summer?

    Just sitting here, wondering what season this is again ...
    — Seriously, this is summer? In Texas?

    July 20, 2014

  • Why no to YMCA?

    Sometimes the lack of news can be just as disturbing as the daily barrage of bad news.

    July 5, 2014

  • Service members deserve our thanks

    More than two million active and reserve military personnel serve in the United States Military across the world: from just down the road in Fort Worth to the Forward Operating Base Jackson in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan, U.S. men and women endure harsh conditions, potentially fatal missions, rigorous training and heart-aching separation.

    July 5, 2014

  • Texas should not have to face surge alone

    Texas political leaders recently announced an increase in funding and personnel to secure the Texas-Mexico border.

    June 27, 2014

  • Closer to Cliff than Homer on any Father’s Day

    It is Father’s Day, the one day a year when sons and daughters (hopefully) remember to thank Dear Old Dad for all he has meant to them over the years.

    June 15, 2014

  • Lives depend on how we drive

    Local roads and highways have been the scene of six motor vehicle accident fatalities over the past week.

    June 11, 2014

  • Summer’s here, ready or not

    Too late, summer’s here ...
    — The occupants of the Kellar Estate once again find themselves preparing for the annual onslaught of heat and humidity which is summer in Texas.

    June 8, 2014

  • YMCA 'ball' now in city's court

    The YMCA/event center project is now back on track, thanks to a $1 million pledge from L-3 Mission Integration. It has been more than a year since Greenville voters approved a $15 million bond to build to new Y.

    June 1, 2014

  • In just a flash, she's turned 15

    Shaking my head in disbelief once again ...
    Jaylynn is 15.
    Let that sink in for a minute.

    May 25, 2014

Featured Ads
Promotions
Poll

Does Dallas head coach Jason Garrett need for the Cowboys to make the playoffs during the 2014 football season to keep his job?

Yes
No
Who knows with Jerry Jones as owner?
     View Results
Facebook
Must Read
Photos


See more photos and purchase prints here.

AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide