Posted: May 5th, 2012 | Author: Patrick Thornton | Filed under: Main | Tags: CSS, ESPN, ESPN Cleveland, football, headlines, margin, Ohio State University, padding | No Comments »
What’s the difference between losing a football recruit due to sex versus due to a sex offender?
Apparently, ESPN Cleveland doesn’t see a big difference. Below is what ESPN.com is reporting on their website about Ohio State losing a football recruit do to a sex offender being able to take a photo with the recruit (the recruit did not know the person was a sex offender and wasn’t pleased that Ohio State doesn’t take better precautions to prevent sex offenders from having content with college and high school students):
Since this story is about Ohio State, ESPN Cleveland automatically picked up the headline and linked to espn.com’s story. The problem is that ESPN.com has more headline space to work with than ESPN Cleveland. Sometimes, cutting off a word can really change the entire meaning of a story. Take a look:
ESPN Cleveland’s headline is factually wrong. This story has nothing to do with a recruit having sex. It is about sex offenders having access to recruits.
Perhaps the weirdest part of this whole affair is all that white space on ESPNCleveland.com in their local news box. Look at all that white space just hanging out on the right side of that box. There is all the space in the world.
There is plenty of space for ESPNCleveland to use the same headlines as ESPN.com. I suspect the box that those headlines are in is using too aggressive of padding or margins in CSS from the right side of that box.
If you are going to automatically grab headlines, and you’re a news organization, you might want to think really hard about having a computer truncate a headline. You might just end up with a libelous and ridiculous headline.
While allowing headlines to go onto multiple lines doesn’t look as good, it at least allows for factually accurate headlines. When reporting news, function should come before form.
Posted: December 8th, 2011 | Author: Patrick Thornton | Filed under: Main | Tags: FCS playoffs, football, Lehigh University, retweets, Ryan Spadola, suspension, Twitter | No Comments »
The NCAA has suspended Lehigh University’s Ryan Spadola for one game in the FCS playoffs for retweeting a tweet that contained offensive language and a racial slur.
Add this incident to another long line of regrettable things that have been said on social media by students, kids, athletes, children, angry adults, etc. I think a lot of kids and college students haven’t fully grasped yet the open nature of social media. Twitter isn’t the same as sending a text message to a friend or anonymously making comments on a message board.
What you say on the Internet can stay with you for a long, long time. Students shouldn’t make public comments on the Internet — even if only a few people will see it at the time –that they may one day regret.
I’m amazed at how many people say and do stupid things while on Facebook and Twitter. It’s as if they don’t understand the public nature of what they’re doing (and how good Google’s search algorithms are. With Facebook being used for commenting on many blogs and websites, I’m even seeing people leave the same terrible comments that we saw for years on news stories but this time with their real names attached.
It’s interesting to me that the NCAA is suspending athletes for what they say on the Internet. In this case, a student was suspended for retweeting what someone else said. It wasn’t even clear if the retweet was an agreement or not with the original tweet, and this isn’t exactly the most offensive thing I have seen on social media.
But Spadola was suspended. Should the NCAA be involved in these issues? Are there more appropriate ways to address issues like these from college students?
Such are the perils of retweeting. I, and many others, still maintain that retweets are not endorsements. I regularly retweet things that are interesting. Sometimes I’m even playing devils’ advocate.
Update: Many of you are wondering what the offending tweet is. I didn’t put it in the original story because I can’t confirm 100 percent what was said. The tweet was deleted, other media outlets don’t have the exact words either and neither Lehigh, nor the NCAA specified what was said. I’ve heard from multiple people and sources that this is what was said (warning: strong and offensive language).