How do you know if something is true? When you read something on the internet, what makes you believe it’ is real? Do you instantly believe it? Do you conduct any research? We are told not to believe everything we read on the internet. We are warned. Yet, here we are a society hooked to the screen. Believing everything we see and hear.
Up until now I would have sworn to you that this: Exhibit A.
Was actually true. Upon recent knowledge I have discovered I have had one to many embarrassing conversations with polite people, to kind to say otherwise.
Fact checking has become a crucial and necessary habit. With a majority of our news coming from the online, the more imperative it becomes to make sure the facts are accurate. Falling victim to tales spread by trolls, bots, and other naive media users is easier than one might think. Fake news is circulated globally on a daily basis. Spreading lies, innocent people are registering as facts. It is important to understand how to verify a fact/story as true or false.
With that mindset in mind, I went on a hunt for an article to fact-check. I flipped through pages of news before I found something that sparked my interest.
“Republican candidate banned from Twitter over racist Meghan Markle post”
Let’s start with…
… background information.
Meghan Markle is the brand new fiance of British Royalty Prince Harry. The son of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Charles, Prince of Wales. He is fifth in line for the throne. The couple announced their engagement earlier this year, sparking up a lot of conversation. Meghan Markle will be the first biracial divorcee, to marry into the royal family.
Chedderman is Britain’s oldest modern skeleton. Recent DNA analysis has proven that Chedderman attained certain African features. For example, a darker skin complexion.
Paul Nehlan is an american white nationalist and political candidate. He is currently running as the Republican primary for the US representative of Wisconsin.
According to an article published on a news engine titled, Global News, Political candidate Paul Nehlan posted an offensive tweet of newly engaged, actress Meghan Markle, on his twitter account this past week. The controversial post allegedly lead to his twitter ban.
The article states that Nehlan tweeted,
a photoshopped image of Markle with the face of Cheddar Man — a dark-skinned man researchers say resembles what early Britons used to look like.
Nehlan captioned the tweet,
Honey, does this tie make my face look pale?
If the picture itself wasn’t disturbing enough.
This article immediately invoked an emotional reaction among many twitter and social media users. Myself included. I had to take a step back, and re examine the article with a clearer mindset. When articles trigger an emotional response, the more likely the article might be Fake News.
Move 1: Check For Previous Work
The internet has proven itself untrustworthy. The rise of Fake News has opened up a brand new genre of websites and articles. Websites like Snopes, FactCheck.org, and Politifact, are credible, fact checking websites, that dedicate all there posts on proving news, true or false.
None of the websites covered any information about the incident. Further investigation is needed.
Move 2: Go Upstream to the Source
Since the article was fairly new, posted just yesterday, February 13th 2018. No credible fact checking websites have completed a post on it yet. Instead of submitting a request, and waiting for one of these websites to cover it, I can try to go upstream to find the original source. In this case, the original tweet. But if what the article says is true, this step might not be as easy as it seems. If Paul Nehlen was banned from twitter, will his page or tweet still be up?
I was unable to find the original tweet on Nehlan’s Twitter account. The article stated that the tweet was taken down, so my search was a long shot. I was able to find a screenshot of the tweet inside the article written by Abedi, but in this day and age, can you really be certain it was not photo shopped?
Touching base on whether or not Twitter banned Nehlan, his page seems to still be up and running. His most recent activity reported to be only seven hours ago. The article does not clarify when Nehlan was banned from twitter. But the article was posted at 4:17 pm yesterday night. Around sixteen hours ago. If Nehlan was supposedly banned from twitter sixteen hours ago. How does he have recent activity from seven hours ago? Did twitter not ban him?
The evidence seems to be compelling, but I can’t stop my search there. Twitter has yet to make statement on the matter. But Abedi did link some sources in her article that are worth checking out.
Paul Nehlan’s Facebook Page
I was beginning to have my doubts. The timeline wasn’t adding up, and I was unable to find the original post on Nehlan’s seemingly up and running Twitter page. But Abedi presented me with undeniable evidence. Straight from the horses mouth. She provided a link to Paul Nehlan’s Facebook Page.
As you can clearly see from the screenshot above, Nehlan posted about the incident on his personal Facebook page. He states,
A deliberately inflammatory article (that I’d argue is pure junk science) was published indicating Brits, and by extension, Americans, came from this Cheddar Man character. In response, I lampooned the article. If you like your free speech, you can keep your free speech (in my condescending Obama voice). Now are you paying attention to my #ShallNotCensor proposal?
Paul Nehlan did post a racist tweet of Meghan Markle, and he is quite proud of it. What is still uncertain is whether or not he was actually banned from twitter. Nehlan touches on the subject with his #ShallNotCensor. But that enough isn’t proof.
Upon further research conducted on Nehlan’s Facebook Page. I was able to find an official statement made by Nehlan, directly correlating with his Twitter ban.
The first paragraph of the statement states exactly what we were looking for,
Yesterday, Twitter banned me from its platform. I am the second GOP congressional candidate within one month to be banned for lawful speech from a major social media platform.
Going upstream to the original source, provided us with all of the information we needed. We can now say with certainty that what Maham Abedi wrote in her article is true. Paul Nehlan was banned from Twitter for his racist photo-shopped post of Meghan Markle. She provided us with the necessary links, within the article, to find the information for ourselves. Paul Nehlan has caused an uproar on social media, and has brought up issues regarding free speech. Do you believe Twitter had a right to ban Paul Nehlan? The post was disturbing, and racist, but doesn’t Nehlan still have the right to free speech? This whole incident has brought up a huge controversy, and I am happy I can discuss my point of view freely, knowing that I have gotten my facts straight.