🔍 EXPLORE: Food, Science, and Legitimacy
A delicious recipe for viral every time.
First things first!
If you haven’t read this month’s TEACH section, go do that now. No, really. Would Dr. Ken steer you wrong?
Food, Science, and Legitimacy
When it comes to mis, dis, and mal information, it seems everything is up for grabs, but we are starting to think 2022 might be the Summer of Food Wars. Let’s start with the end in mind, aka dessert.
An image purporting to show a headline published by ‘People’ magazine claiming a line of ice cream has been discontinued due to being “cancelled” by the “woke mob” was digitally altered. No such headline was published and although the image was likely intended as satirical, many were duped online into thinking that the image was authentic.
The ‘People’ magazine banner and headline that reads: “Klondike’s Choco Taco Cancelled By Woke Mob After Almost 40 Years”, was pictured with an image of the ice cream and a sub-headline that reads: “A representative for the brand confirmed to PEOPLE that due to recent allegations of ‘cultural appropriation’ the Choco Taco is no more.”
The question is, why was this such a perfect storm to go viral? Perhaps it’s in the ingredients:
Choco Taco Recipe
Note: this is the ‘viral’ copycat version.
1 cup of emotion ❤️🔥
One tablespoon of nostalgia 🧠
One dash of satire (the substance might be blurry) 🔍
Three cubes of trusted sources (People Magazine, Reddit, Senate). Make sure you don’t forget ethos, pathos, logos … 👇🏼
Blend in a large ‘culture war’ bowl 🥣 full of yesterday’s hot 🔥 button topic(s).
Pour it out onto any mobile device 📲 and bake it at 280 characters 🐦 with an image 📷.
And you get a delicious recipe for viral every time.
Want more of the story on ChocoTaco’s demise and manipulation?
Sorrow in Choco Taco town after summer treat is discontinued
Fake headline distorts reason that Choco Tacos were discontinued
🆕 Webb telescope photo of Proxima Centauri 🆕
One of our members of the #digitaldetectivesquad, Tom Williams, shared a PetaPixel post with us that has us rethinking appetizers and legitimacy.
MICHAEL ZHANG writes …
On July 31st, Etienne Klein, research director of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, tweeted the photo to his 90,000+ followers on Twitter and claimed that it was a new Webb telescope photo showing the closest star to our Sun.
“Picture of Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to the Sun, located 4.2 light years away from us,” Klein wrote in the Tweet (as translated by Google). “It was taken by the James Webb Space Telescope. This level of detail… A new world is unveiled day after day.”
The tweet went viral and was retweeted thousands of times as people marveled at the imaging power of the Webb telescope, which has been wowing the world with never-before-possible space photos, including shots of the oldest galaxies ever observed.
In follow-up tweets, Klein revealed that what he had tweeted was just a slice of Spanish sausage.
Another “small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" Eroding Information Legitimacy
Via WRAL.com, Etienne Klein responds to social media comments:
“In view of some comments, I feel compelled to clarify that this tweet showing an alleged snapshot of Proxima Centauri was a form of amusement. Let us learn to be wary of arguments from authority as much as of the spontaneous eloquence of certain images…”
After receiving angry backlash to his tweet, however, the scientist apologized a few days later for spreading “fake news” that confused quite a number of people, stating that it was just a joke that was intended to warn his followers to be cautious about photos seen online.
“I come to present my apologies to those whom my hoax, which had nothing original about it, may have shocked,” he writes. “I simply wanted to urge caution with images that seem eloquent on their own. A scientist’s joke.”
Action: Back to School EXPLORE Prompt
We wanted to give you at least two (2) examples you could use to help your students explore what they consume online. They offer several opportunities to discuss all four lenses - triggers, access, forensics, and motives - from Developing Digital Detectives.
This time it is up to you to send the #digitaldetectivesquad your best piece of mis, dis, and mal information to help teach media and information literacy. They can be for all ages k-12 but let's not go beyond the People magazine’s writer’s name with our content. 😉
See the TEACH section for details but remember to send your submissions in one of two spaces:
Twitter by using the hashtag #DigitalDetectiveSquad, or
the ‘From The Mixed Up Files of Dr. Ken Bort Ph.D.’ Back To School Edition Padlet for the #DigitalDetectiveSquad.