I admit I’m new to debating on twitter, but really, I was irked that someone either wasn’t fact checking, or wasn’t citing their sources when challenged on the facts. So I tweeted several tweets to the article author after they stated that there were “conflicting sources” about JK Rowling’s college education (or lack there of), asking why they used JK Rowling as an example for their argument on The Huffington Post that college is overrated, and about the conflicting sources in question.
My professors would have ripped me a new one and asked me to find a stronger example for my thesis if I had brought that excuse up in the drafting stages.
And it wasn’t like she didn’t have an opportunity to cite her sources. One commenter had challenged her claim that JK Rowling never attended college, but the article author in question, instead of citing their sources, laughed off the person in a “silly rabbit” fashion. Yeah, it was a Huffington Post article, so you’re not obligated to “show your sources”, but if people are going to challenge you in the comments section, you need to have your sources on hand to back them up, or you’ll just look like an idiot who doesn’t know how to debate.
I honestly don’t know what these “conflicting sources” are, the author never names them in the comments, and I never got a tweet back about these sources she found. A quick Google search on “did jk rowling go to college” pulls up countless webpages (wikipedia, various ask sites, biography sites) claiming she went to Exeter University for a BA in French and Classics and that she did, in fact, receive a BA in French and Classics.
So why would I be mentioning this on a creative writing blog?
Readers love nothing more than to fact check authors when their “bullcrap” radars are pinging. If you’re not certain on something, or if sources, for whatever reason, aren’t agreeing, you may want to shy away from discussing that topic, unless your confident enough that you can navigate the discrepancies in your research.