With all of the rumors swirling around Michael Carter-Williams over the past couple of days, people in the Syracuse area don’t know what to believe. Sunday night was full of different rumors, pictures, and tweets from various people that gave every indication that Michael Carter-Williams was arrested for shoplifting from Lord and Taylor, even providing photographic “evidence” of a blurry photo that may or may not be him.
Since then, the Post-Standard went in and did some research and made some phone calls to determine that Carter-Williams was in fact not arrested Sunday night, and that no charges were filed in any alleged incident.
But that still doesn’t stop people from speculating. Those that want to believe Carter-Williams is guilty are believing people on Twitter that they have never spoken to before, while not believing the only Twitter that probably knows the truth: MCW’s.
On Sunday night Michael Carter-Williams denied the allegations multiple times on his Twitter account of both being arrested and being caught shoplifting. The tweets have since been taken down, and the speculation remains.
But why are we getting our news from places like Twitter anyways? People that read things on Twitter and accept them as truth without question honestly remind me of someone in high school who did their midterm paper with Wikipedia as their main source. It is not substantial at all for reporting news, and unless you are a high-profile person who is tweeting, you have nothing to lose by anything you tweet. In this case, the person who was the first “source” of the Carter-Williams allegations was a random girl hanging out at the mall. But between deciding to believe the first tweeter or Mike Waters of the Post-Standard, many are choosing to believe the tweeter.
As a blogger, I use social media a lot every day. But the difference between us bloggers and the rest of Twitter is that we don’t break news. We provide commentary on the news in the Syracuse world, and we source the original article. Pieces that we write are mostly all opinion based, and if it is an opinion on a certain story it is referenced back to the original source. I love social media as it is a great place for discussion with other fans, but it is not a place where news should be broken. It is unreliable, and like the Scoop Jardine point shaving scandal, can lead to some absolutely reckless things.
Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t know what the story with Michael Carter-Williams is. I don’t know what’s true and what isn’t, and your guess is as good as mine if any of the allegations are true. But that is my point. People that want to convict MCW know just as much information as the people who defend him. With calls made by the media to the appropriate places, there have been definitive facts put out there, and that is really the only thing responsible readers can accept as truth.
But that won’t stop people from using a person they’ve never met and has no credentials as a primary source of fact.