It stands to reason that if anyone can be anyone else on the Internet then they may tell any story that they wish and if you believe it, it's your truth even if they made up the facts of the matter. That's why I'm still puzzled about the ongoing brouhaha between and among media outlets on the role of 'fake news' in the recent election.
If you read or watched a clip, online on something that caused your spidey senses to tingle but you didn't go to Politifact or Snopes or to a hundred other online fact-checkers, whatever happened after that is on you. BUT (all caps for a reason) if you Reshared, Reposted, Reboasted or Retoasted any of it and fanned the flames that kept it alive, shame on you.
I can't even imagine how Mr. Clemens would have offered that observation had he lived in the here and now (aside from amending the last part to say "sports shoes" because that's how we do). And I say that, after having read this, realizing we're all gonna read a LOT more stories like it for years to come.
I'm old and will read even older when I offer this: where are these young people's parents (plural deliberate). I understand how complex our society in which we now live actually is; I helped it get this stupid and complicated. You're welcome. And I appreciate it takes a village to raise a child but it takes two parents to do the heavy lifting.
There are a million places this trio could have picked up on the whole 'hate others who are unlike yourself' mindset but I'm still not willing to let Mom and Dad off the hook. We are all in this world together but parents have more skin in the game. How much more, you ask. Only that amount that's required to completely cover the body of a child for whom they are responsible.
When we choose to be silent when confronted by horrors, large or small, we are showing our children by our example that all of our kind words have no meaning. That is a lesson far too many pick up far too quickly because they are so carefully taught.