The ubiquitousness of facebook is unquestioned; nearly everyone, it seems, has facebook pages and likes, etc. Mr. Zuckerberg’s determination, drive, brilliance and chutzpah are legend; add now his wife’s and his incredible beneficence.
Unfortunately, for some, facebook has been a projectile of misguided facts and comments that are construed by others as truths.
Let’s call that output “rumors” or “chatter.”
(SOURCE: Columbia news, views & reviews, March 2011)
In the absence of consistent, verifiable, “black-and-white” reporting, rumors inevitably become a source of information. The problem is, as General William Tecumseh Sherman noted, “I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are.”
Prudent reporting on a topic demands fact-checking and that means when a “rumor” surfaces, multiple sources need to be contacted to get all sides of truth (or facts) in the matter. Hey, we are going to make mistakes on this information platform, Columbia news, views & reviews, … but we are going to strive for fact-based articles. If we get wind of something by the rumor mill, we are either going to cite it as just that: a rumor. Or, more likely, we are going to talk with other sources or get the documentation. A great component of living in a free country is that citizens have access to government documents via the Right To Know Law.
And while rumors are jucier and more exciting to believe, we believe citizens are served better by truth and facts.
Here is a sprinkling of recent chatter from area facebook pages:
Chatter about “dog fights” in Columbia – Columbia Police Department facebook page
Chatter about the conditions at Laurel Hill – “What’s Happening in Columbia” facebook page
Chatter about 401 Locust Street – several sites – “The buiding even looks empty except maybe the apts” – Columbia news, views & reviews asked the principal for the situation at 401 Locust Street: “Sometime after the first of the year, Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) St. Joseph Children’s Health, a leading force in the effort to improve the health and well-being of children in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania Community, will occupy the entire first floor of the Cimarron Investments, LLC owned building at 401 Locust Street.” The “wall” being constructed at the entrance to the building’s parking lot is part of the “beautification” of the building, and Columbia’s revitalized appearance.
Chatter about a “Sizable explosion at Cherry & 5th sts.” – You know you’re from Columbia if … ” facebook page
Chatter about the once-proposed “high-rise” living complex by the river – You know you’re from Columbia if … ” facebook page
Chatter about the reason one fire company is not a part of the new Columbia Fire Department – You know you’re from Columbia if … ” facebook page
Chatter about lights out in Columbia and on The Bridge – You know you’re from Columbia if … ” facebook page
Chatter about vandalism on Manor Street – You know you’re from Columbia if … ” facebook page
Chatter about crime, drug deals and prostitution – a private facebook site about Columbia
The publishers of Columbia news, views & reviews and Columbia Spy regularly attend and provide news updates about borough council and other public meetings. Each of the Websites encourages citizen input and suggestions. Each seeks news releases about events and happenings in and around Columbia.
The Borough of Columbia regularly posts events, activities and news about the Borough. Each governmental entity at the local, state and federal level maintains Websites and updates the Websites regularly.