Editors Note: This was inspired by a submission from "Brittany", a WEARETHELION supporter.

In today’s technology driven world there are innumerable places to receive information from, and because of this we are constantly being bombarded with "facts." But how do we really know what is fact and what is fiction? Is it safe to believe everything you hear?

Before you run rampant, repeating something you heard from any source, it is first necessary to look into the legitimacy of that source and determine whether or not the things they are telling you are indeed safe to believe. For the sake of this article, we will examine a few general groups of sources and hopefully shed some light on whether or not their "facts" are believable.
One source of information that often gets a good amount of flack (and perhaps for good reason) is that known as a "conspiracy theorist." According to the Oxford Dictionaries, a conspiracy theory is defined as "a belief that some covert but influential organization is responsible for a circumstance or event." In our society today, a conspiracy is often referred to as a "false explanation." Conspiracy theories abound after any large event, including the Boston Marathon bombings. WEARETHELION, as an organization, does not support conspiracy theories, therefore no discussion on that of the bombings will take place. But why, though, do these theories always seem to come about? Whatever the reason, conspiracy theories are labelled as "false explanations" for a reason: they are more often than not never true. Often times, conspiracy theories stand on very little evidence, a few photos perhaps, and they should always be investigated further before something, if anything, can be taken seriously.
The most common source that we hear information from is the media, whether it be a newspaper, news channel, or radio. Every city, state, and country has its own form of media, distributing information to its residents. More often than not, people automatically take this information as true; why would they publish false information in the newspaper, right? The news is used as a platform to inform the public of what is going on, so why would they use it to lie to us? The media is the most easily accessible relayer of information, and is therefore depended upon by our society. Often times, the media is reliable and tells the truth, but we also must remember that the media is usually controlled by the government. State-owned media is funded and controlled by the state. Therefore, the state would have free reign to tell the media that they cannot or must report on something in a certain way. In regards to the Tsarnaev case, the media has been largely inconsistent. The media has been around for centuries and is not going anywhere, so we, as a society, must learn to differentiate between the fact and fiction they report, always remembering to take everything with a grain of salt.
Photograph: WSIU Archives via Electricadolescence.com
One source that seems to sometimes get overlooked, however, is the unbiased political analyst. Thanks to Pride member Brittany, our attention has been directed to an unbiased, neutral radio show by Traces of Reality that talks about the facts regarding the Boston Marathon bombings and its domestic and geopolitical consequences (check out the show here). Reporters such as these almost always have no political agenda. They are not trying to convince you of anything, not presenting you new evidence, but instead looking at the facts (some of which are often times ignored by the media, like the Tsarnaev family CIA links and Dzhokhar’s relationship with Brian Glyn Williams) and making intelligent inferences as to what they mean for our society, the world, and the future. Instead of attempting to get the reader or listener to see things in a certain light, they are trying to get him or her to see the one thing that we all should be looking for: the truth. With analysts such as these, there is no conspiracy, no overshadowing of important information, no political agenda. They are not releasing new information, nor attempting to tell you what the existing information and evidence means. Their goal is to present things for discussion and to allow the listener to form their own opinions and ideas. These unbiased analysts are the most trustworthy relayers of information; like WEARETHELION, they are presenting information and allowing discussion for what it means. 

We, as the public, cannot believe or throw out everything we hear. The government withholds information for a purpose, whether that be to ensure the public’s safety or to save it for trial. Because of this, many lies and much confusion abounds in regards to the Tsarnaev case and other cases, and our many sources of information only make things more complex, causing the web of lies and confusion to thicken.

What information source do you believe most? What other sources of information are there that were not covered? Are there any that you can automatically believe or discredit? How do you, personally, tell what is fact and what is fiction?

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