Internet Writers: Beware

I publish almost exclusively on the Internet, and I’ve grown to like it: it’s easier to correct an error on the web, and it’s nice to feel like the distance between reader and writer has closed (since feedback – for good or bad – is more readily available through comments, emails, Twitter, and so on).

But there’s a huge problem with writing for the web: it’s easy, in the mill of getting stuff out there, to write shoddily – or, worse, to write simply for attention, or the money. It’s something that I and many others struggle with every day.

So I’m glad Tyler Charles wrote about it for The High Calling:

While social media was still abuzz with the sensational claims my article made, a few responsible Christian leaders did what I should have done in the first place: examine the data. And they found it woefully lacking. In the days that followed, I sat at my laptop and watched with horror as more responses cropped up online. The sources didn’t directly attack me, but they definitely included sharp words about what they perceived to be misleading and irresponsible.

A colleague emailed me an article written by a well-respected Christian pastor/author and said, “Uh oh, so-and-so is after you.” I quickly read “so-and-so”‘s opinion and wanted to offer a rebuttal—a defense, a justification, something. But I had none to offer; he was absolutely right. I had not intentionally misled anyone, but upon reviewing the data, now too late, even I couldn’t justify the conclusions my article suggested.

Read the rest here.


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