Do GeekDads Prefer Keepin’ it Real?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I spend a small portion of each day reading through a dozen or more tech blog feeds, looking for book ideas (I write technology books). I depend on a certain level of detail when reading about new software, products, and breakthroughs. I also depend on a certain level of honesty. And that may be where I’m making a mistake.

There are two large (and competing) technology blogs that I check quite frequently through the day; these are my Go To sources. So hopefully you’ll understand my concern when I read this headline this morning on one of them:

A 3-Year Old Boy Armed With a Blowtorch Burnt Down His Neighborhood

I don’t know about you, but there’s no way I could pass by that post and not read more. I clicked on it. And here’s the quote I read next: “Police said the boy burned a porch swing, a broom, a sliding door, a deck and a knob on a septic tank and singed an igniter on a gas grill.”

The quote, taken from WTAE.com in Pittsburgh had a slightly different version of the headline:

3-Year Old With Blowtorch Sets Neighborhood Fires

You can see the difference, right? The latter headline is not misleading and doesn’t give the boy credit for anything beyond what he actually did. But the first? Totally misleading and, in my opinion, completely lacking in journalistic integrity. What’s worse is that if you examine the reader comments for this post you’ll find that many readers who called out the post’s author (and the blog itself) have had their comments removed. And let’s not forget that this is a post that found its way onto a technology blog, making me wonder what setting some stuff on fire has to do with keeping me informed on the latest technology goings-on.

This type of sensationalism isn’t happening on this one tech blog, either. I’ve noticed it happening more and more with other blogs that cover a variety of topics, not just technology.

So, GeekDad.com readers – what are your thought on this? Are blogs exempt from the level of research and fact-checking and accuracy that we expect from newspapers and magazines? Are other geek dads and moms seeing this elsewhere? And finally — what do you expect from online information sources when it comes to relevancy and accuracy?

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