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NFL Brings Out Twitter Losers, Winners

Check your sources before you take off running with Twitter

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NFL Brings Out Twitter Losers, Winners
[ Social Media]

Now that the NFL has secured 10 years of labor “peace” between the owners and the players — aside: how much money would owners make without the players? — the news concerning player movement is coming hot and heavy. So much so, in fact, the desire to be first with breaking news concerning a re-signing or a trade is apparently overwhelming. Just ask Jared Tokarz. Unless you are all about NFL-related tweets, you may not have heard of Tokarz or his NFLDraftInsider Twitter account, but let’s just say, it’s clear he has his heart set on being the next Adam Schefter, although, in his rush to beat everyone to the punch, Tokarz may have just exposed himself as something of a tool.

As you can see in the lead image, Tokarz has been issuing some incorrect tweets concerning player movement, and he’s had to backtrack for it. It should be said that blaming other people for your mistake isn’t the best way to go about things. The person Tokarz is blaming is Jason Schreier, a freelancer who does work for Wired.com, among other publications. Schreier noticed Tokarz would tweet just about anything that came down his pipe, as long as it was NFL-related, and so, Schreier conducted an experiment:

Curious about NFLDraftInsider and his trigger-happy tendencies, I decided to check his page out. It seemed as if he was firing off rumors with no qualms or reservations, no matter where they came from. He didn’t cite sources or look for confirmation on anything. Exacerbating this issue was the fact that several legitimate NFL reporters were retweeting and repeating his statements, some of which might have had absolutely no basis in reality…

And so, Schreier decided to see just how far he could take this by posting a wrong-on-purpose tweet about Pat Devlin going to the Arizona Cardinals. Granted, Schreier’s swindle was rooted in truth — as in, he used a real-life NFL player — but the rest of the information was wrong.

Not only did Tokarz run with the incorrect information, other, more notable publications did too. Because of that, Tokarz has been on something of a crusade, justifying and apologizing for his error.

@SlimKimmel Hey, I just need to let it die and learn my lesson. Appreciate your opinions. My facts are 100 percent backed by sources. 9 hours ago via web · powered by @socialditto

Apparently not.

To correct everyone: I tweeted 99 percent correct on UDFAs, one kid hoaxed me by saying 100% confirmed and I tweeted it.I should’ve checked. 9 hours ago via web · powered by @socialditto

Yes. Yes you should have.

I still back up 100 percent of what I say by sources and I quickly fixed that hoax. Unfortunate because I was just trying to inform everyone 9 hours ago via web · powered by @socialditto

No excuses. Check your facts before running to tell the rest of the world, especially if you are trying to come off as some kind of authority on the subject you’re tweeting about. It’s pretty simple, really.

I won’t bash the author & his fake accounts because all he wants is promotion.My facts were all right except for the ones he faked & told me 8 hours ago via web · powered by @socialditto

Why would you bash the person who sent you the incorrect information? He wasn’t the one who treated everything as fact.

BTW I’m not a journalist, just wanted to tell fans their teams UDFAs cause the weren’t avail. I want to inform & was given ‘confirmed’ lies. 7 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® · powered by @socialditto

Woe is me for trying to help? Is that where we’re at now? Tokarz even turned to Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated for help, and Staples issued what Judge Mathis would refer to as “tough love.”

My advice: Don’t plagiarize random tips. Check information. RT @NFLDraftInsider: Nevermind, wanted advice but it’s fine. Thanks. 14 minutes ago via TweetDeck · powered by @socialditto

It’s a pretty simple, but yet valuable lesson: check your sources and don’t be so eager to be first that you’ll post factually-incorrect nonsense that undermines whatever perceived authority you may have built up. While it’s a little sad to watch someone take such a beating, Tokarz brought this on himself. While it’s true that he isn’t the first victim to get burned for treating wrong information as gospel, when SI writers are making it a point to show you the error of your ways, it’s a pretty major screw up.

As for Schreier’s claim that you should stop trusting Twitter, well, that all depends. If you’re followers list is full of people who jump the gun like Tokarz, then yes, you should. On the other hand, if you are populating your following stream with sources that have been proven to be trustworthy, it’s pretty safe to put credence in what they say. Not only has the information normally be rechecked, these resources are good about falling on the sword when they make a mistake.

Blaming others for the mistakes you’ve made is never, ever the way to go about handling your business.

NFL Brings Out Twitter Losers, Winners
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