If I see something interesting and educative or witty on Facebook that others might like and relish, I get the urge to re-post it. In the past, I have burnt my fingers by reposting the posts of others without verifying their veracity.
Now, before I post anything on my Facebook book page, I try to find whether there are any omissions or inconsistencies in that particular post that caught my attention. If I see anything not factual or smell a rat, I comb the Internet for more information.
Please remember that all posts that we find on Facebook or on any other social media are not perfect. So, here is my advice to you to heed when you think of copying from social media. Follow these rules of information-gathering and you will be presenting a perfect post for others to read, relish and profit from it.
Five Ws and one H
The Five Ws and one H, 5W1H are questions whose answers are considered basic in information-gathering or problem-solving. They are often mentioned in journalism (cf. news style), research, and police investigations. They constitute a formula for getting the complete story on a subject. According to the principle of the Five Ws, a report can only be considered complete if it answers these questions starting with an interrogative word:
Who is involved?
Where did it take place?
When did it take place?
Why did that happen?
Some authors add a sixth question, “how”, to the list namely, “How did it happen?” though “how” can also be covered by “what”, “when”, or “where”.
Each question should have a factual answer – facts necessary to include in a report for it to be considered complete. Importantly, none of these questions can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”.
Hermagoras of Temnos, the Greek rhetorician best known for his works on rhetorical invention, as quoted in pseudo-Augustine’s “De Rhetorica” defined seven ‘circumstances’ (μόρια περιστάσεως ‘elements of circumstance’) as the loci of an issue:
Quis, quid, quando, ubi, cur, quem ad modum, quibus adminiculis. (Who, what, when, where, why, in what way, by what means)
Please remember that not every post I publish is perfect. I try to do my best following the above rules of good journalism and at times I do go astray.
It is up to you to follow or discard this advice.
- Natural Language Processing and Information Systems: 17th International edited by Gosse Bouma, Ashwin Ittoo, Elisabeth Métais, Hans Wortmann (books.google.co.in)
- Hermagoras of Temnos ( en.wikipedia.org)