I hate social media.
Certainly, platforms like Twitter and Facebook, among others, are great ways to spread news and information. I’ve personally written nearly 30,000 posts over the past decade and more because it’s the best way to let my loyal readers and followers know what’s on my mind or what I’ve written, or just comment on things happening in the world of motorsports and other entities.
But again on Sunday, we saw the darker side of social media, and once again explained why I hate it so much.
Less than 24 hours after his son, Ty Gibbs, won the Xfinity Series Championship, we learn that his father, Coy – and son Joe Gibbs – has died in his sleep at the age of 49.
About 90 minutes before Joe Gibbs Racing made an official announcement of the tragedy that befell the family and the organization, I started getting tips about rumors that something had happened to Coy or Joe Gibbs.
This explains why I hate social media so much: Small, if not superficial websites – including ones that were picked up instantly by my spam/virus software (thankfully) – were posted on the website (yes, I really want to) use a full expletive), but I object here) – that Coy Gibbs not only died, but was “reported” about the way he died.
I wouldn’t glorify giving the names of the sites that posted this unconfirmed crap, but one said Gibbs died in a car accident (with the implication that it might have been related to DUI, which was eventually removed from the original post), while another oddly claimed that Coy died of a drug overdose shortly after returning to his home in Cornelius, North Carolina (the post has since been deleted).
I am angry at how “sites” like this can get away with spreading such false and appalling information when they have not confirmed how they learned the so-called reasons, nor have they mentioned any legitimate sources.
All they did was blame the wall for what got stuck, trying to get some false credibility and what many of these sites rely on more for revenue generation, etc.
They are “clicks”.
There is a desire in the modern press to get the stories out into the public domain as quickly as possible. But unfortunately – and we have seen this happen many times not only in sports, but also in politics – the desire to be first does not always correspond to legitimacy or facts.
They don’t care what they do to families like the Gibbs family. They don’t care if they write 100% total BS. They do not care if they challenge the credibility or reputation of the individual.
They only care about being first and getting clicks from unknown fans who think these so-called “reports” are legitimate. I often wonder how the people behind these fake news sites might feel if other sites or competing sites would refute those behind the fake news sites if they themselves had suffered the tragic loss of a family member, such as a mother, father or child.
Or do they even care?
I don’t pat on the back, but one thing I’ve been following for a long time – and one of the first things I learned in journalism school in many years – no matter what you write, make sure you can confirm it first.
For me, I’d rather be 3rd, 4th or 5th when it comes to posting something, provided I’m #1 when it comes to accuracy in my reporting. I am very proud to be accurate because my name is in the story. I don’t want to be known as someone who lies, deviates from the truth, or intentionally spreads rumors in order to get “clicks”.
In short, I don’t care about being first when it comes to writing a story – unless I have an exclusive story that I know I’m the first person to report.
Instead, the most important thing for me is to be completely accurate.
nothing else matters.
And now, again, we have sites that claim to be legitimate when they are illegal except knowingly spreading false information that is harmful to the family, to NASCAR, and pretty much to anyone who works in the sport or the fans who follow teams and drivers.
I can’t imagine the pain the Gibbs family is feeling right now. Joe Gibbs will now have to bury his second – and only surviving – son, having had to bury his first son, J.D. Gibbs, in 2019 after J.D. suffered a terrible neurological illness, and died at the age of 49. .
And now, in a semi-ironic way, Joe Gibbs has now lost his only child left, also at the age of 49. And again, he was very young. There’s just something about that number: I can’t help but add another NASCAR legend who left us at age 49: Dale Earnhardt, who was killed in a last-lap crash at the 2001 Daytona 500.
We likely won’t learn the official cause of Koi’s death for a while. But how he died does not matter to me, nor should it matter to others who are not members of the Gibbs family.
The important thing is that Coy is no longer with us and we must respect his family’s privacy as well as honor the life that Coe led, as he rose from being a football coach to a racer himself to eventually becoming the co-CEO of JGR, where he essentially runs today – day operations as his father declined 81 years old in recent years.
It remains to be seen who will manage the process in the future. But for now, we need to mourn and honor what Coy Gibbs has done in his very short life.
While I will never stop hating social media for some of the things you post, what is heartening is the fact that Elon Musk is hoping that Twitter in particular, and social media in general, will make a more accurate and accurate form of news. and convey information rather than the current Wild West environment, regardless of whether it is factual or true.
I didn’t really know Koi very well. I spoke to him several times during his time with the team. He seemed like a friendly guy who knew his sport.
Now he is gone. Again, too early, too young.
But we hope his family will at least feel some comfort knowing that he left the world with so much pride and joy after watching his son win the championship.
As for the sites that have incorrectly speculated about how Koi died just to get some unblocked clicks and fame for themselves, all I can say are two words: damn you.