The land before the internet -Image from natioalgeographic.com
When I was in high school, I was accepted in a laboratory high school. We did a lot of research and self-teaching back then. There was not much websites that provide useful information to finish my homework and the 56.6Kbps internet sucks! Thus I am a regular of libraries. Digital book catalogue was on it’s infancy stage. It wasn’t as reliable as today. You have to search for the book one by one using catalogue cards.
The library is a very dull and quiet (too quiet) place with only your imagination to distract you. I stay until 8 to 9 PM inside the library researching and reading books when I was in my early teens.
“If he was our librarian, I’d stay all day and night inside the library.”
Now comes the information age. Students today are lucky enough to not stay late at night in libraries but rather sit in front of the screen and type away whatever topic their homework is about while downloading porn on the side.
“The other tab is a PRON site!”
Last year, Lourd de Veyra addressed the issue of youngsters and internet information in his speech at the UP Mass Comm. graduation. A rough translation of an excerpt to his speech goes something like this: “Information is different from knowledge — which is intellect and true wisdom” (Iba ang impormasyon sa karunungan — ganap na talino at dunong.) If I put it by his example, Information is just Changmin’s Kakao Account but Knowledge is Shim Changmin himself… including that beautiful and delectable body of his!
“In short… KNOWLEDGE IS SEXY!”
In spite of having all the tools in the internet, there are still a lot of false information and rumors circulating in social networking sites particularly in FB groups. I left some of these groups because this is were rumors start and the admins of these pages could only do so much. Every screengrab is believed to be true without any citations. Well, let me show you how easy it is to build a believable post.
I’ll start with making a fake news using Chosun Ilbo.
First, I visited Chosun Ilbo’s official English site. Studied the layout and all that jazz.
Using Photoshop, I copied the site’s layout and put some of my words.
“I feel Yunjae shippers wish this is real!”
Then I inspect Facebook’s layout elements.
For the finale… I typed in some freaking out stat and…
…VOILA! Post ready to fool anyone in any forum boards or FB page!
In posts like these, doubt is your friend. Before you freak-out and spazz on your local Facebook page… go Sherlock on it first!
“Curiosity will not kill the cat this time! Plus, the cat won’t be stoned for ignorance.”
Here are some steps of how to confirm if the rumor is true or not:
1. Who is the source?
Did the info come from fan boards? Some other fangirl? Wikipedia? Well, if it came from any of these sources then there is a big chance that the rumor is not true. You can use those sources as leads to the truth but never believe them 100% until you confirm it. Check the citations and visit them yourself. I remember Cassies crying over a troll post that JJ is getting married. Hah! Obviously that rumor is a very, very late April fools prank.
“And a very, very bad joke too.”
Even if the footnote says the statement came from CJes, there is nothing on the CJes site that claims that rumor. A little common sense wouldn’t hurt too. Use your imagination. If JJ’s gonna get married for real, I think CJes will be the first to hold a press conference for this, and there would be endless selcas of him in a bridal gown tux and so on and so forth.
3. Don’t skim, READ!
Most of us today has a short attention span on posts. We only SEO skim on posts and only see keywords that strikes us. If anything shocks you, try to read it twice or thrice before you react to it… OR if his / her sentence construction is confusing, it wouldn’t hurt to say “I’m sorry, I don’t understand what you are trying to say… what do you mean by ____.” If the user calls you stupid even after an elaborate explanation and apology then that’s their fault. Leave the topic at once!
4. Always take everything with a grain of salt.
If that Yunjae example of mine was pulled out from my site and used by some over-excited fan and post it on forum boards, doubt it! Question what you are reading or else it will crush you! If you start to doubt it, there’s always…
When it debuted, it was like a mana from heaven of information. Now, I don’t know why and how come people don’t use it even if their smartphones have Android OS installed in it! There are several techniques that Google has for any user to make the search capabilities more efficient. I’ll show you some of the functions of Google that I use most of the time.
– If the info is said to have come from a site, type in the keyword and place SITE:www.websitehere.com at the end.
I’ll use again my fake Yunjae news. The grab said that it came from the English site of Chosun Ilbo. I’ll search for the official Chosun Ilbo URL.
When I press enter, there’s nothing on Yunjae. There… rumor dismissed!
– If there is a photo from an unknown source, use Google Images.
So~ooo… let’s say I want to know where this photo came from.
Right-click on your mouse and choose “Copy Image URL” on the option. Then go to http://images.google.com
Click the camera thingy on the input box and paste the image URL.
When you press enter, Google will show you results of the same image and it will suggest keywords for your future use.
6. Trust only official sites of their label or of the artist
Rule of thumb, if it didn’t come from official sites then it’s not true! I’m not going to list down all the official sites here because that would be tedious. I’ll just cite the most trolled KPop label page on FB!
“This is the real SME people!”
Your bias’s social networking site account can also be considered official since they type every status themselves.
“My former bias approves of this username!”
Usually, famous people have more number of Followers than who they are Following.
7. Don’t Shoot Anonymous
Once there was a sportswriter who noticed a regular troll in every article he published online. When he couldn’t take it anymore, using his journalism skills he searched who this troll is, found his address and paid him a visit to his house. He didn’t expect that the troll on the other side of the monitor is a kind and gentle guy who has a soft tone of voice. The writer showed him his soul-crushing comments, the troll realized that those were harsh, he didn’t know what’s going on his mind when he was typing those harsh comments. He apologized to the author after. The author now realized the power of anonimity. A person who talks using a keyboard is more likely to have more courage because that person knows that he is safe behind the monitor. What every person doesn’t know is what happens on the other side.
“Behind that butt-hurt comment when you bashed his pimples / prick marks in his latest airport photo is him posing as a fan!”
From the story I’ve told earlier, the troll was able to say those hurtful comments because he was shocked! Before you call that person stupid or type STFU, ask that person why he/she thinks that way. In international forum boards, English is widely used. From experience, English is a very tricky language and negative adjectives should be used with discretion. When I post something negative about my bias, even if I took extra care of my word selection, I still get attacked. When I check my troller’s info, I often see that they are several years younger than our family’s maknae. If I meet these kids in real life, will they scream at me STFU unnie or F*ck your stupidity unnie? I’m Asian, I came from a conservative family and I’m very sensitive with honorifics. Be careful who you call with those derogatory words because you wouldn’t know if they’re the same age as your mom and for those who love to post sexual innuendos or a photo of your bias’s crotch bulge IN PUBLIC AND OPEN PAGES be mindful that there are minors who are members of that group. Place a label or disclaimer about the post or do it in your own page and set that post on ‘custom.’ (Custom setting is friend… hehehehe~)
Be sensitive netizens and those rumors… don’t worry about them. Your bias can take care of himself, they’ve signed-up for this because they can handle what’s coming to them. To be honest, only us fans are the only people who get hurt by rumors about them. Remember also that your idol is only human, he eats, sleeps, poops, and occasionally grows some baddies on his skin. They are not gods, even if their band name has the word “GODS” in it!
With that… I give you…
Listen closely to what this song say about rumors.