Selective facts, full context and the Super Bowl
As I wait for my slow cooker to magically create a pot of my famous Super Bowl chili, I find myself surfing the internet for news on the Kansas City Chiefs, The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and their respective players. It always astonishes me how sports writers can justify a particular stance by presenting the selected facts needed to do so. "Player X is unreliable because he has thrown this many interceptions", yet we neglect to mention the factors that led to those interceptions or how they pale in comparison to his touchdowns. "Player Y is incredibly injury prone", yet we fail to mention that many of those injuries were the result of foul play.
These instances of restricted sports journalism brought me back to the world of disinformation, our role as information professionals, and this forum. Disinformation, per say, is not merely the act of untruthfulness, it also constitutes deceit through the practice of selective facts and a selective context. Not everything is a lie, but even a truth can be incomplete. Let's ponder this the next time we are discussing facts and misinformation with a patron or student.