It’s fitting that marketers today spend more time on the headline of an article than on the actual content. People want twitter-sized nuggets of information… rather than, you know, be informed.
All this does is breed ignorance.
And I’m not above this. I experienced this firsthand when the Ferguson shooting came about. At the time, I didn’t read any headlines, but my friends had. Many preached about not making another shooting about race… and in a general sense, I agreed.
Headlines read like this Ferguson Shooting: Civil Unrest Continues Despite Chief’s Gesture (Fox News). This, on its own, is misleading since the wording is biased against the civilians and tries to create a sympathetic chief of police who’s extending the olive branch. However, even something as bad as that headline is not the problem. The problem is how it then translates into peoples’ Facebook feeds as:
“The truth is, this story isn’t really about racism, police brutality, or even tragedy… This story is about the failure of Liberalism… [and] the liberally-inclined media uses the term “white-police-officer” in their racially sensationalized news coverage of Ferguson.”
The headline propagates highly opinionated extremists which floods Google with misinformation and it spreads like wildfire through our Facebook newsfeeds.
By the time I heard of Ferguson, it had been so watered down that I too thought someone was throwing in the race card to make an emotionally triggered headline. However, the FACTS are that Michael Brown was an unarmed, black teenager who was shot anywhere from 5 to 10 times by a white cop.
If you wanted to make even a remotely convincing argument that this was not racist, you might have a chance had one shot been fired, but even the “conservative” estimate of “5” is too many. This was an act of racism and Michael Schaus, you’re an asshole.