Social Question

NerdyKeith's avatar

Is being wrong forgivable when you admit fault?

Asked by NerdyKeith (5439points) October 8th, 2017

I’m specifically referring to responding to statuses on social media. If one reads a click bait article title and reacts rather than investigating thoroughly. To only have pointed out to them “actually that is not the cause… because…”

Hypothetically if a person was to respond by saying “actually you are correct, that was an error on my part.”

Some people are of the opinion that making an inaccurate statement online should result in a person to never be trusted again. While others feel that if the person admits the mistake, they at least have the integrity to be honest.

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8 Answers

Soubresaut's avatar

I generally think that when someone acknowledges they’ve made a mistake, or works to adjust their perspective when presented with better facts, they become more trustworthy than they were before, not less. I think they also become more human in my eyes, if that makes sense.

If I were the person who believed the clickbait article, and someone told me that its claims weren’t true, I’d simply thank them for pointing that out, be glad I hadn’t been mistaken for longer than I had, and make sure to research more the next time.

janbb's avatar

I’ve been in error online several times, either by stating something as a fact that isn’t or reposting something that is false. I always admit it (more gracefully now than when I was younger) and I don’t think I’ve lost my street cred because of it. I’ve also learned not to repost from certain sites or to verify before posting.

SavoirFaire's avatar

“If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you’ll never learn.”
Fahrenheit 451

I have a lot of respect for people who can own up to their mistakes, especially when it prompts them to do better in the future. Even someone who usually does their due diligence can make a mistake, after all. Better to say something mistaken and get corrected than to stay silent and live with a false impression.

Zaku's avatar

That’s clearly just an overreaction from someone annoyed by all the noise.

Forgivable is up to the person doing the forgiving.

I’d say of someone who expects every shared link on social media to have been thoroughly researched:
1. They have good reason not to trust that you have vetted a link after you failed to once.
2. They are silly for expecting links on social media to have been researched.

I wouldn’t say point 1 was about forgiveness.

You might be able to gain the trust of this person by acknowledging past acts and committing to researching all future posts before posting them. I have no idea why you’d bother, though.

kritiper's avatar

Only if one learns from it.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Whether or not someone admits being wrong, they can still be forgiven. I suppose it depends on whom is upset with the person who is wrong, and what they were wrong about.

Mariah's avatar

I kind of have two answers here. The first is that I don’t make a character judgement on a person if they post something false due to a lack of fact-checking, if they own up to the mistake. In that sense I forgive them – I definitely don’t think less of them as a person.

But you brought up the point of credibility here and to me that is still an issue. Ever since the presidential election in our country, I have been doing a massive amount of research on a daily basis about healthcare politics and policy. I blog on the topic over on another site. I have made it my mission to understand what’s going on in healthcare and to help inform other people by compiling the info I find so they don’t have to drive themselves nuts on Google news every day like I’m doing.

The result is that I have very little bandwidth/sanity left to research other topics, and so I rely on some of my friends who are providing a similar service on their own passions – I have one friend who is doing research on LGBTQ rights, another on racial issues, etc. Because I don’t want to spend any more time reading about politics than I already am, I rely on these friends to provide me accurate summaries about what’s going on in other arenas. I use their information to inform my decisions about what I say when I call my Senators, etc. I need to be given accurate information because I don’t have it in me to do the additional fact-checking. I trust my friends to do this. If they screw up, it can break down my whole system.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It depends on the situation. I read your details. I blow off most internet correspondences.
To put another spin on it though, some people, especially, it seems, those who have been through counseling, seem to think that just telling everyone they know they’re doing bad, or have a bad attitude, but keep doing bad, and everyone is supposed to then overlook it because they confessed.

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