There are some instances in which the Internet hinders and helps the credibility of an individual, which will be reviewed further in this post by taking a look at a few examples.
This is definitely a good thing, as people will have to own up to their beliefs and take responsibility for any backlash they might receive. The rule was put into effect mainly to rid ignorant comments that were posted just for the sake of being ignorant comments, which annoyed many readers. It will also, hopefully, put an end to any shameless hate and prejudice that many users use to attack other users when they post comments that don’t see eye-to-eye.
It’s a great idea, and hopefully making people responsible for their comments will weed out the majority of time-wasting ignorant comments. In this case, the Internet makes fantastic use of credibility. Perhaps Gawker.com would think differently if they followed USA Today’s example, as can be read here.
The incident involved a stock image photo, which was doctored and then posted onto a Flickr.com account under the pretense of being original work. The photo was selected into an “Awkward Tombstones” gallery for Tribune Interactive, but it was found to be photoshopped.
Tribune Interactive, who was known for pulling unverified content from Flickr quite often, lost some credibility for the incident. Even the original account owner who posted the photo was not allowed to do so, as the image was copyrighted and protected.
The moral of the story is that journalists cannot trust Flickr as a source for photos—much less any other social media source. To do so would be to shirk their responsibilities as journalists for not actively seeking out and spreading stories of truth. This article explains the situation very well, and it urges journalists to be their own skeptic if faced with a similar situation.