Students deserve truth

We condemn posting fake news and offensive comments.

An account registered to the Temple email address of Francesca Viola, a journalism professor, has posted anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and fake news conspiracy theory comments on various media websites.

In a statement to The Temple News, Klein College of Media and Communication Dean David Boardman wrote that Viola took responsibility for some of the comments posted by the account — which is called “truthseeker” — but specifically denied derogatory posts about Muslim people.

“Deport them,” the truthseeker account wrote. “They hate us. Get rid of them.”

We are concerned that an account registered to a professor’s email is contributing to the dissemination of fake news — like conspiracy theories about the Democratic National Committee murdering a former employee — especially considering it is Viola’s duty to teach the next generation of journalists.

The truthseeker account posted comments on alt-right media sites like The Gateway Pundit and Breitbart News Network, which have argued that liberal media outlets and political figures squash freedom of speech when they accuse these sites of spreading fake news.

We understand the necessity of hearing diverse political viewpoints. In fact, Klein was honored for its diversity last month by The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. We hope Temple can be a place where people with different beliefs have constructive conversations.

But that acceptance ends at fake news.

To be a journalist, one must accurately and objectively report information. To be a peddler of fake news, one threatens the credibility and fundamental principles of the craft.

At The Temple News, we treat accuracy as an essential principle to uphold — it’s our business. We’d hope our professors do the same.

1 Comment

  1. It’s quite comical in my opinion. I was a student at Temple in the early 2000’s with dreams of becoming the next great muckraker. The world has changed, everything is a lie in the world of politics, that becomes more and more clear the older I get. Wake up everybody, North Korea sells slaves to Russia and China, yet we import Chinese and Russian goods every day. Saudi Arabia has the worst Human rights record in the world, yet they own 7% of our country. Iran was fine until we put our leader in there in the late 1940s, why would we overthrow their sovereign government? To get their oil for cheap. I will not go on a long rant as I could for days, my point is everyone needs to get off their high moral horse. Michael Jordan is a hero in this country, he’s supported child slavery through his shoe sales for 35 years! “Truthseeker” has a right to her views, I do not agree with them, but she is not a horrible, disgusting villain who deserves for her name to be put through the mud. Every body at one point in time has said things they regret. Professor Viola is no different, and I hope that some of her colleagues don’t go the “PC” route and drop her like she’s some kind of serial killer, which I’m afraid might be the case. A good intellectual conversation could clear everything up in my humble opinion

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