Popular teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs are often a prevalent topic online. Unfortunately, this also targets them as victims of a new online culture.
The NHL has changed greatly over the years. So too has its coverage. With the Toronto Maple Leafs looking to upgrade their roster through trades, the Canadian sports media has attempted to monetize it. They turned the trade deadline into an event the scale of a national holiday.
The emphasis of importance in the mainstream media’s dissemination of information is no longer on accuracy. Instead, the greater consequence is perceived by the speed at which news is shared. Being first to tweet about a trade has become almost as relevant as the transaction itself. The Toronto Maple Leafs are now victims of this culture.
The fans aren’t always the ones to be informed about breaking news. Often, the players involved in a deal learn about it through social media as well. This was true about how Travis Hamonic learned that he had been traded in June of 2017 from the New York Islanders to the Calgary Flames. Twitter was also what tipped off Reilly Smith when he was included in the package sent to the Boston Bruins for Tyler Seguin. The same even happened to Blake Griffin in the NBA.
Bad Rumours on Twitter
Social media is now full of reporters and imitators, all looking for the glory of being first to break a story. The side effect of those actions means that there is a lot of false information posted online. With the trade deadline only a few days away, there has been an influx of supposed leaks.
A blue checkmark on Twitter doesn’t mean that the information posted is trustworthy. There are many who are and aren’t verified spreading lies. It’s unclear what motivates people to make things up and spread it online but it happens daily on social media.
It’s up to the individual reader whether they choose to believe the source of the disinformation but it’s important to use critical thinking. Nick Mercadante may say that his information is good but his track record doesn’t suggest that’s true. He was the same person who claimed that the Leafs had completed a trade for Taylor Hall, which obviously never happened.
This may appear to be harmless, but behind every rumour is an actual person. Involving a player in pure speculation, but claiming it as fact has consequences. Players, their families, and friends all have access to read these nuggets, which could make things difficult for them as a result of what is being claimed to come. It isn’t fair to the players or the fans to spread lies.
Some online might actually have a reputable source. Perhaps they know someone who works inside a team’s front office, or for a player agent, or even knows a player themselves. That same person may fantasize about being considered an “insider” so they choose to share the leaks. Believing that these people exist can be fun but it does also encourage the behaviour.
There will be plenty more of this in the coming days, especially for a big market team like the Maple Leafs whose rabid fan base is dying to see action to improve what should be an elite team.
The best piece of advice when trying to wade through all the social media lies is to be patient. Eventually, the truth will surface. After all, if it’s Leafs trade deadline information you’re after then the best place to find it is right here at editorinleaf.com.