On Wednesday, April 8, steak company Steak-umms took a break from promoting their cheesesteaks on Twitter to say:
Friendly reminder in times of uncertainty and misinformation: Anecdotes are not data. (Good) data is carefully measured and collected information based on a range of subject-dependent factors including, but not limited to, controlled variables, meta-analysis, and randomization.
Outliers attempting to counter global consensus around this pandemic with amateur reporting or unverified sourcing are not collecting data. Breaking news stories that only relay initial findings of an event are not collecting data. We have to be careful in our media consumption.
It can be difficult to know what to believe in a time when institutional trust is diminished and the gatekeepers of information have been dismantled, but it's more crucial now than ever before to follow a range of credentialed sources for both breaking news and data collection.
All we currently have are limited and evolving metrics that experts are deciphering and acting upon immediately to the best of their ability. This terrain leaves many openings for opportunists and charismatic manipulators to lead people astray by exploiting what they want to hear.
Breaking news and storytelling will always be spun with an interpretive bias from different media perspectives, but data is a science that can't be replaced with one-off anecdotes. Try to remember this to avoid fear-based sensationalism or conspiracy theories taking over your mind.
You can maintain independent critical thinking toward institutions without dipping into fringe conspiracies that get jumpstarted by individual anecdotes being virally spread as data. It's not easy, but it's necessary to keep any semblance of responsible online information flow.
We're a frozen meat brand posting ads inevitably made to misdirect people and generate sales, so this is peak irony, but hey, we live in a society, so please make informed decisions to the best of your ability and don't let anecdotes dictate your worldview.
Yes, indeed, this was a frozen meat brand. Steak-umms proceeded to tweet on various small and simple ways that the average person can "take on the daily cultural challenges of this pandemic without demonizing or othering our neighbors."
As you would expect from a steak brand that got this serious on Twitter, the tweets went viral.
Steak-umms responded to their tweets going viral by saying:
People think it's funny when a frozen meat company points out the importance of critical thinking. But chances are the same message would never go viral if it was from a person. Our society values entertainment over truth, and that's a huge problem.
Said Steak-umms frozen sandwich meats.
As comedian Josh Gondelman said, "Is it too late to vote for Steak-umms in the Democratic primary?"
CLOSING QUESTION (Leave your answers in the comments)
Is there anything in Steak-umms' Twitter rant that you disagree with?
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