So who has seen this awesome pic doing the rounds of social media sites for a month or two now? This picture is supposed to be of the rare Albanian Pitbull whose coat is supposed to resemble that of a cheetah. Now I will be the first to admit that this image on first glance is pretty impressive. I mean come on, it's a dog that looks like cheetah, what's not to be impressed about. However once I looked closer I saw one little thing that triggered me to see a whole heap of little things and then the whole fantasy came crashing down on this poor, mistreated pup. So what's the point? I'm glad you asked.
First thing I noticed was one of those old school hair-drying helmets in the background of the picture, which then drew my attention to the bottles and assorted salon-esque items nearby. One and one made two and it suddenly occurred to me that this poor dog was not some rare breed, but an unfortunate victim of a bored hairdresser.
I immediately Googled image searched Albanian Pitbulls and strangely all I got was pictures of standard Pitbulls so I just did a general search and BAM! There they were. Multiple articles about the hoax of the Albanian Pitbull which, as it turns out in a shocking twist (not), doesn't actually exist! This all took me less than 30 seconds to do and it got be thinking, how many people now just accept what they see on social media as truth instead of fact checking.
Journalists, most of them anyway, are required to fact check all aspects of their stories before they make them public. There are many reasons behind this but one of the biggest ones is to ensure the ongoing integrity of their station/publication and maintain the trust of the reader/viewer/listener. With the integration of social media into almost every aspect of our lives now though, everyone is an amateur journalist and we aren't so great at fact checking.
I guess what I am saying is, maybe we should ask more questions and do more research before we share things on social media? I've done it myself, even after fact checking, and I know how embarrassing it can be to find out that you've been had. As a business owner, you owe it to yourself to make sure everything you put out into the world, be it digital or real, is the truth. It's hard enough for us to get accurate information from news outlets and such but if we add into the equation EVERYONE'S opinion, suddenly facts are secondary and it becomes more about who can convince the world they are right.
Please, for everyone's sake, make sure that you know your stuff and that you have researched it thoroughly before you post, print or record. It can take seconds sometimes but it can actually save you A LOT of embarrassment and prevent you losing the respect of your peers, friends and colleagues.
This article was prepared by Ant Ulijn, Social Media Extraordinaire and Values Alignment Expert from emanation. If you found this information useful, please comment below, subscribe above and like us on Facebook for more great content like this.