It’s interesting what passes for journalism and fact checking these days.
The following tweet is from Alex Kaplan, a Senior Researcher at Media Matters. It sounds really bad. A QAnon man killed his wife and dog, shot his daughter, and shot at police.
Is it true? Yes, the event took place according to news reports. Was the murderer a ‘QAnon dad’ conspiracy nut? We don’t know, and apparently Alex Kaplan doesn’t either. Only time, and real journalism, will tell.
— Alex Kaplan (@AlKapDC) September 11, 2022
So how did we find this? Twitter is super helpful at helping its users find the best factual information, you know. We clicked the ‘Explore’ link, navigated to ‘US Elections’, and finally clicked ‘Fact-Checkers’ – Twitter’s ‘list of fact-checkers and accounts dedicated to misinformation in English’.
That description may be more true than they realize.
The account being retweeted by the Media Matters guy, who focuses ‘on social media misinfo/disinfo & online extremism’, doesn’t exactly seem to be sure of the QAnon connection to the murder either.
It’s a Reddit post. Of course we can’t 100% verify it right now but I post stuff like this in hopes of having journalists look into it further. My post also has people who can help reaching out to help the OP.
— Michigan Tea (@MichiganTea) September 11, 2022
That’s right, the only evidence linking the murderer to QAnon at this point seems to be a Reddit that was posted by a brand new user a little more than an hour AFTER the article was published by Detroit media.
Again, the Reddit post may actually be the person whose father went postal, and he may well have been a Q conspiracy nut, but why is a Media Matters ‘misinformation’ specialist putting out these claims with such shaky corroboration? More importantly, why is Twitter directing its users to ‘Fact-Checkers’ who traffic in such shoddy reporting?
Some are questioning the story. Most others are just accepting it, as presented.
Is there any proof to this Reddit story other than the poster saying it’s true and it’s coincidental timing before it hit “main media outlets”? I mean that’s really coincidental but seems a little reckless and one sided to post for someone who calls themselves a “journalist”
— Colton Robertson (@coltfreakingr) September 12, 2022
There seems to be confusion about which was posted first. Here are the timestamps from the article and the Reddit post.
I am not a journalist.
— Michigan Tea (@MichiganTea) September 12, 2022
Clearly, and that’s fine, but the Media Matters ‘journalist’ is sharing this unverified story as though it has been verified.
I think we know why.
Every day that passes, Joe Biden is proven more right and the pundits who criticized him for speaking out against MAGA extremism are proven more wrong. https://t.co/cnhHHs3zme
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) September 11, 2022
A Michigan man who got sucked into QAnon thanks to the stolen election industry shot and killed his wife, then shot his daughter and dog before being killed by police. Absolutely horrifying. https://t.co/oVbIs9n50r
— Mike Rothschild (@rothschildmd) September 11, 2022
This appears to be true. What a horrible place we find ourselves in. https://t.co/b0d9LM9Udg
— Emmanuel Goldstein 🇺🇦 (@emmangoldstein) September 12, 2022
When it comes to ‘Fact Checkers’, it doesn’t appear Twitter and Media Matters is sending their best.