DIGITAL-AGE DILEMMAS

I saw something about that bizarre shooting in Virginia yesterday on AOL, but paid little attention to it–AOL thrives on sensationalism.  Then last night, watching the local news for the weather forecast I saw the ABC News version of the story. After seeing that, I was more curious of course, so I searched for actual video that they didn’t show in the news report. And I saw the video–several people had put it on YouTube.  It didn’t really show much–I could see why that local anchorwoman in Virginia couldn’t tell what exactly was going on just from the station video.  But with the background information, I saw enough.  And my curiosity was satisfied.

Then I saw links to videos about the whole incident being a possible hoax. I was curious, of course, and took a look at them.  These were YouTube videos allegedly of the actual video that the killer recorded.

The bottom line:  The video unintentionally broadcast by the Virginia news station looked quite real.  But the video allegedly posted by the killer looked quite fake. Those who had uploaded what they considered a hoax pointed out several problems with the killer’s video.  I could see their points–but the most obvious problem, to me, was this:  The killer walked up to the reporter, the woman being interviewed, and the cameraman, and stood just a few feet away from them. Then he looked around a while–and no one noticed him at all until he pulled out his gun and began firing. It just seemed so odd that they didn’t notice him–especially since they knew him.

Finally today (Thursday), I read the whole story in the New York Times and watched the whole story on the PBS NewsHour.  I found, from these, that the original video the killer posted on social media was deleted very soon after.  So it occurred to me then that the videos posted on YouTube could be tampered with, to make it look like a hoax.  But why would so many people bother to do that?

On the other hand, why would a television news station concoct a hoax of such magnitude, knowing full well that it would not be able to keep its secret?

I believe this incident really happened–but I’m confused by the YouTube videos posted allegedly of the killer’s video.  If these are not tampered with, I still have unanswered questions–mainly how the reporter, the cameraman, and the woman being interviewed didn’t notice the killer so close to them.

Should people have uploaded the news station’s video onto YouTube?  Should people have uploaded the killer’s alleged video to point out that it could have been a hoax?

Should I have watched the station’s video?  Should I then have watched the videos questioning the killer’s video as a hoax?

Should I even post this–a post about something so controversial?

Dilemmas.  Digital-Age dilemmas.

I hate the Digital Age.

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