Aside from Jason Cohen’s item promising a vegan brisket option from Austin’s Franklin BBQ, I didn’t catch too many glaring April Fool’s gags yesterday, though had I spent Sunday scouring the Bleacher Report, it would’ve been ALL FACTS CENTRAL. At least that’s what B/R’s King Kaufman boasts, citing a Forbes joke about Mitt Romney endorsing Rick Santorum as an example of why “we just don’t allow that sort of thing at Bleacher Report.”
The way the world works now is that people spread stories on social media having just read the headline. Who knows how many people tweeted and Facebooked and Tumblr’d and whatever else about that Romney story without having clicked through and realized that their legs were being pulled.
Not much good can come out of this kind of deception. It’s one thing to give people a chuckle with a funny story on a website. It’s another to fool them, through the placing of that story on search engines and social media, which really can’t be stopped, into thinking that the story is true.
At that point, it’s not harmless fun. It’s damaging to the site’s and the author’s credibility, and we’ve talked about this before: Credibility is something you only get one chance to lose.
Yes, and this is coming from a site that has so much credibility to lose.