Two dudes created a rumor on Twitter yesterday that for the better part of two hours the entire world bought into.
It all began when Jake Nyberg sent out the following tweets:
The story wouldn’t have gone anywhere had David Dellanave not gotten involved, but the thinkfluencer along with his undeserved verification check authenticated the fake news.
Its funny Dellanave can achieve Twiter’s highest honor, but we as a media outlet can’t get verified. Thereby Twitter will validate “fake news,” but give us real media the finger.
Given the blue check seal of approval, national reporters took the story and ran with it. CBS and Yahoo even published blogs on it; both have since been deleted. Catch versions of the stories are still available: CBS | Yahoo.
In a cute plot twist, Dellanave and Nyberg changed their tune, claiming that the stunt was an attempt at satire because the NFL doesn’t open up publicly funded stadiums to the homeless. Valid or not, their real goal was clearly to get attention and followers.
Is the idea of stadiums being opened up to the homeless an excellent idea? Yes, but the logistics and human resources behind it are not. Not to mention the stadium may be publicly owned, but it is privately run.
It’s sad to think about homeless people suffering in the cold, but there are much better ways of going about it than creating fake news on Twitter.
Maybe Twitter will learn from this and verify real media and not the phonies.