One of the things that has been in the spotlight of discussion over the past year within the realm of gaming is the media. Not just the media but how they source information, how they use those sources and how distorted sources or a lack of fact-checking can spread misinformation to the general public.
Funnily enough the United Nations did a report targeting the harassment against women online and specifically pointed to the gaming industry as a key problem in propagating real world violence and sexism against women. The only problem is that they misappropriated sources, did not properly list their citations and used erroneous data to tarnish the gaming industry.
The report was so vile that after multiple refutations from other organizations and individuals targeting the misinformation contained within the report, the United Nations decided to retract their report.
According to Ars Technica, the United Nations not only retracted their article but also offered an apology, with ITU public information chief Sarah Parkes telling Motherboard – yes, the same Motherboard that just recently killed their comment section because they didn’t like dissent – that…
“The big problem was footnoting, which was not up to standard and we very much regret that,” […] “the terrible scramble around the launch date. It was a hugely busy period for the UN. We apologize very much for the errors and I hope we’ll be able to rectify them.”
How about not telling lies? That usually helps, especially when the information is being broadcast to a global audience.
But in today’s media sphere you can’t count on the people who provide you with news to actually tell the truth. In fact, the U.N.’s report was completely dissected and taken apart in a detailed Medium piece by Jamie Bravo where it was revealed that many of the U.N.’s sources used to attack gaming and frame a narrative about harassment were either blank, duplicates, circular or false. Shortly thereafter the Electronic Software Association also criticized the U.N., for their report being about as sloppy as a blind toddler with a Manwich, as reported by GameRanx.
According to Parkes the U.N., will have another report up that’s “fixed” within a week or two. To be honest, if these people can’t do basic fact checking and sourcing for the claims they make in their report (as it appears as if they made the claims first and tried to find links to back them up) then what’s to stop them from doing it again?
If they were paid to incompetently produce an agenda-driven report, the only thing that’s going to change the next time around is that they’ll likely try to better hide said incompetence.