An allegation through social media


Appalachian State’s color guard is accusing the University of Miami’s football team of assaulting some of its members.

The claim is that the UM football players ran out after the half-time performance and aggressively knocked into and inappropriately groped some of Appalachian State’s color guard members without any apology.

The university’s athletic director, Blake James, said the investigation provided no evidence to the allegation and the university does not tolerate any suggestive or violent behavior.

The alleged incident was elevated by color guard member Sophie Randleman’s Facebook  post.

Randleman’s social media post emphasizes disrespect she felt from the football players and describes, in detail, her experience of the event.

The investigation of the case has not confirmed Randleman’s claims; however, her post accurately demonstrates the use of new media in news.

News sites reference Randleman and use her as a source in their articles and broadcasts. Most of the sites only quote Randleman and did not gather information from UM’s football team or other color guard members.

Furthermore, some news sites did not investigate beyond her physical Facebook post and simply quoted from her posting.

The social media post is an effective method of receiving initial information and gathering sources, yet it is concerning to see that events could be blown out of proportion and that some news sites will not investigate past social media. Without more sources and accurate information, news will then falter to being mere gossip.

As social media become more dominate in the news gathering field, it will be important for reporters to react in a professional manner and balance being timely with being accurate.