Ironic that a (fake) screw was used in a social experiment around how consumers identify the 'truth' on the internet.
The most recent cautionary tale of what to believe on the internet comes courtesy of a Swedish design firm, looking to leverage the space between consumers' rampant interest in Apple products, and Apple's hermetically sealed product pipeline.
The firm Day4, a 3D motion graphics specialist, drew a screw, emailed it to themselves, took a photo of the screen and posted it to Reddit. The screw was supposedly a proprietary screw that Apple would utilize to limit the public's ability to repair or tinker with its products, according to The Next Web's .
[Full disclosure: NBC saw the headline on the Y Combinator feed previously, but the internal company firewall prevented the site from opening.]
Day4's intention was to highlight how we consume what is published on the internet. And with Wired, Yahoo, Cult of Mac and iFixit all writing headlines around the story, it would be easy to assume story's veracity.
Indeed, the vast majority of the publishing sites were skeptical, writing around the fact that the screw could not be verified. It's the commenters that really took the screw and ran with it.
With the new iPhone rumored to be out in September, interest is high and, as always, the rumor sites will be spitting out snippets of 'information' until it's announced. Usually, these rumors are mere entertainment for those looking to upgrade or consider upgrading their handheld devices. ("Oh man, if the new one has holographic images, I'm totally getting it!")
Day4 even created a graphic, showing the Perceived Level of Truth and the Distance from Source. The further from the source, the closer the internet audience gets to having its "critical thinking vaporized."
Caveat emptor, indeed.