At Mic, Matthew Rodriguez wrote about the unsubstantiated allegations.His article was shared more than 55,000 times on Facebook.“Betsy De Vos says guns in schools may be necessary to protect students from grizzly bears” (Think Progress.) “Betsy De Vos says guns shouldn’t be banned in schools … “Betsy De Vos tells Senate hearing she supports guns in schools because of grizzly bears” (The Week).
The intellectual dishonesty at play here is hard to overstate.
De Vos never said or even intimated that every American school or even very many of them might need to shoot bears.
He later posted a tweet explaining why he deleted his original viral tweet; his explanatory tweet was shared a total of seven times.
Meanwhile, Pink News writer Dominic Preston wrote a report on the rumors, which garnered more than 12,000 shares on Facebook.
Urban legend debunker website Snopes wrote a report on the rumors and listed them as “unconfirmed” (rather than “false”).
Snopes’s sources were two Facebook posts, since deleted, that offered no helpful information regarding the location, identity, or circumstances of any of the suicides. At Reason, writer Elizabeth Nolan Brown searched multiple online databases to try to determine the identities or even the existence of the allegedly suicidal youth. As she put it: “[T]eenagers in 2016 don’t just die without anyone who knew them so much as mentioning their death online for days afterward.” She is right.It is rapidly becoming an accepted part of the way the American media are run. We might get out of it, not so long as Trump is president of these United States. Only when we fully assess the extent of the media’s collapse into ignominious ineptitude can we truly begin to reckon with it.Since Trump’s election, here’s just a small sampling of fake news that our media and our journalist class have propagated.It was shared more than 145,000 times Eric Geller shared the story on Twitter as well. Dustin Volz from Reuters shared the link; he was retweeted nearly 2,000 times.MSNBC’s Joy Reid shared the story and was retweeted more than 4,000 times.He simply assumed it had been because “he had looked for it and had not seen it.” During her confirmation hearing, education secretary nominee Betsy De Vos was asked whether schools should be able to have guns on their campuses.As NBC News reported, De Vos felt it was “best left to locales and states to decide.” She pointed out that one school in Wyoming had a fence around it to protect the students from wildlife.At that point, however, the damage had already been done: Sherman, along with his credulous tweeters and retweeters, had done a great deal to delegitimize the election results.Nobody was even listening to Silver, anyway: his post was shared a mere 380 times on Facebook, or about one-quarter of 1 percent as much as Sherman’s. In November 2014, the bank foreclosed.” The story received widespread coverage, being shared nearly 17,000 times on Facebook.Also on the day of the inauguration, website whose headline claimed that the Trump administration had “purged” any “climate change references” from the White House website.Within the article, Davenport acknowledged that the “purge” (or what she also called “online deletions”) was “not unexpected” but rather part of a routine turnover of digital authority between administrations.