There's a funny juxtaposition in the right-hand column of Buzzfeed today: One highlighted piece, by staff tech writer John Herrman, is titled, "Twitter Is a Truth Machine," and it delves into the idea that Twitter, despite its flaws, is a beacon for virtuous honesty in time of need. Right next to that article, ironically, is one by BuzzFeed contributor Jack Stuef. In that one, Stuef uncovers Shashank Tripathi, a New York-based GOP campaign consultant who deliberately spread misinformation about Hurricane Sandy via his Twitter account last night. It makes sense for Stuef's piece to be on top in the image, because if Twitter is anything, it's a hive of lies.
What is wrong with fitness infomercial "after" model Paul Ryan? Not only did the Republican vice presidential candidate claim to have a run a marathon in less than three hours — a lie for which he got busted, and bodied, by Runner's World — he's also claimed to have "made close to 40 climbs of Colorado's 'Fourteeners' (14,000-foot peaks)." Which he almost certainly hasn't. (Or maybe? See update.)
It all started on a crowded New York City subway car, where, just above another commuter's sweaty forehead, I caught glimpse of a movie poster through the train window. The movie was called The Possession, and the poster depicted a young woman vomiting dozens of butterflies—or were they moths?—into the heavens above her. Written across the top of the poster was that vague promise so many of Hollywood's biggest films tout nowadays: "Based on a true story."