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To your first point, we're happy to share credit for any news tips we receive. We recognize we get many of our best tips from people in the community rather than through our own initiative or ingenuity.
The Oprah hoax is certainly a painful but relevant story to bring up on this topic:http://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/...
We clearly didn't fully corroborate the multiple tips and emails we received from several sources over the course of six months. This illustrates how we can be duped by someone with ill intentions if we don't do sufficient reporting.
The speed of Facebook, Twitter and other social media magnify this pressure and emphasize why we're taking the time to consider the topic more now rather than in the heat of a big story on deadline.
That's close to our current practice. We make enough mistakes when we do our best to check out tips we receive. Being first and wrong does no good.
However, RTS makes a valid point that some tips prove to be accurate. Would you be in favor of leaving such tips posted on our site or on the Advocate Facebook page while we were checking into them? Would it make a difference if those tips were signed rather than anonymous?
Thanks for the conversation.
Ok my opinion on this is if you find out something or get a "scoop" on something go to the person or people or business that the "scoop" is about before posting it, printing it, facebook it, or twitter it!!!
RTS,You raise a valid question. Our user rules say, "No stating of unsubstantiated information as fact."
The logic behind this rule is that anonymous users might post false or at least yet-to-be verified information. If we leave the information on our site until we check it out, we could lend unintended credibility to the rumor.
On the other hand, you could argue that web readers are savvy enough to recognize a rumor and that we should leave it alone. We'll try to incorporate this question into our upcoming survey.
Thanks for the comment.