Some of the early reports that came out of this weekends tragic shooting in Arizona mistakenly identified Representative Giffords as one of the deceased as a result of the shooting. Later in the day, we learned that those reports were in error. I wanted to investigate this subject to see why this happened. Originally, I assumed that there was some type of breakdown in the way the reporting occurred. Certainly, a reporter had jumped the gun or made an assumption that turned out to be incorrect. What I found instead was actually quite surprising. There was a little more behind the false report than what initially appears on the surface. To understand why they got the story wrong, we must first understand how the story developed.
When I was in Marine Corps boot camp, it was a frequent occurrence to punish the entire group for the offenses of an individual. It made sense there. We were a unit. When one part of the unit messed up, it was a problem for the whole unit. On facebook, however, this is not the case. We are a collection of individuals, as is evidenced by the fact that facebook reminds you "if you do not know this person, do not click add" every time you go to add a friend. So why the heck is facebook punishing everyone because some people do stupid stuff?
If you are wondering why I care about a National Championship game that did not involve my Miami Hurricanes, I can give you two good reasons. First, my girl is an Auburn fan, so I was pulling for them there. I'll explain that further in a minute. Second, I hate Nick Saban, so as an extension of that emotion I must also hate the Alabama Crimson Tide. This hatred was easy to pick up. After all, you're looking at a team named after a phytoplankton with an elephant for a mascot. They are also represented by a roll of toilet paper followed by a bottle of laundry soap. I hate laundry, and I'm not a big fan of human excrement either. Thus, everything came together quite nicely to make me an (almost) Auburn fan.