Tuesday, February 05, 2013
Must it be correct to be true?
I tweeted that (above) from a session at the ALISE 2013 conference that was about the Tea Party and Occupy movements. What does it mean, really?
We've all heard or said things that weren't exactly correct, but whose sentiment was correct. It could be a misquote or even a made-up quote from someone. It might be totally contrived like the image to the right. The question is...if the sentiment is correct, does the "exactness" matter?
While this question was raised in talking about content produced by social movements, I find it interesting from the point of view of our digital archives. We want our archives to be accurate, but does that mean that we want the content to be verifiable or true? What if the sentiment was accurate, while the words were not? Would we place these things in our archives for future access? If yes, how would we label them? Personally, I think the descriptions could be tricky, since it could mean understanding who create the information and why.
As I write this, I am also thinking of images that have been Photoshopped liked the one, several years ago, of the British royal family where they altered Prince William's smile. Was the image accurate? No. Yet is was an official photograph and has been archived as such, I'm sure. I wonder if the metadata includes a note saying that William's smile is a fake?