Friday, November 13, 2009

Facebook as digital plagiarism

OK, I don't mind Facebook. I don't love it. I'm not obsessed with it. I do enjoy reading about what my friends are doing. I like the pithy comments most of all.

What I don't like? I don't like that so may people use FB as a retweeter system for posting every single damn news story they read. If I want to read the entire Huffington Post, I'll surf there myself and read it. In this day and age of digital news sources proliferating worse than H1N1, why do you think I need your help in finding news?

Even if you think the story is important or raises pertinent issues that should to be discussed, why do you think just posting a link to the story is enough to get that conversation going? You posted no thoughts of your own on the topic with the link so all I have is a headline. Here's where the methodology falls apart. You posted the link to a story about the obesity epidemic, the strains this puts on the health care system, the cultural movement to treat it as a disease rather than an individual's weakness at the buffet. You know what I saw in the link? A hilarious headline that said nothing more than Obese People Pushing Back. I laughed at the hilarity and didn't bother reading the story. Whatever point you thought you were making fell noiselessly into the ether.

How about telling me why you think the story is important? If you turned in someone else's work like this in school, you would have been in the dean's office so fast for plagiarism your head would spin. Simply reposting an article is not a far leap from the actions of the Dittohead army of Rush Limbaugh. You get a 0 for effort, let alone critical thinking.

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