Read the headline, share the article. This is how old news gets circulated as new.
While it’s not necessarily #FakeNews, old articles recirculating on social media is a longtime problem that has yet to see a solid fix. The internet’s latest victim: author and poet Maya Angelou, who sadly passed on May 28, 2014.
An NPR article announcing the news of her death from 2014 resurfaced on Facebook this week. Given the three-year anniversary of her death was on Friday, it’s not surprising that people would share articles involving Angelou. But sometime in the past few days the NPR piece announcing her death was shared as new, and people who missed it the first time it came around just rolled with it.
Now, if you actually click into the piece, NPR has a very clear timestamp at the top which states the article was published on May 28, 2014 at 9:41 a.m. ET. The problem is that a lot of people just read the headline and share the article without further investigation.
The problem could be an easy fix for Facebook by noting the timestamp of the article’s publish date in the link preview. Maybe they’ll get to that when they figure out how to combat fake news.
With that, we will leave you with this quote, from Angelou herself.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
True, Maya. True.