BERKELEY, Calif. — In an attempt to limit the spread of potential misinformation regarding yesterday’s campus-wide threat, UC Berkeley administrators announced that, going forward, they intended to provide no information at all.
“Every lie holds a kernel of truth; if you want to stop spreading lies, you have to stop providing those kernels,” Chancellor Carol Christ explained in a hastily-organized Zoom Q&A session. “After all, information is the most powerful and feared weapon we have. When we were all terrified yesterday, it shouldn’t have been because of so-called ‘credible threats’ or ‘armed police roaming campus.’ No, we should have been scared because of the idea that there was information out and about.”
UCPD reiterated campus’ views.
“There was significant panic and concern after we announced the emergency yesterday. That panic sowed the seeds of rampant rumors,” admitted UCPD Chief of Police Margo Bennett in a press release. “We realize now that this panic may have formed, in part, because our 12,000 emails only said there was a campus wide emergency and provided no other information. This was a mistake. We shouldn’t have mentioned the emergency at all; we should have just issued a shelter in place and left it at that. Even with the facts we gave, misinformation spread. It clearly wasn’t worth giving the few real facts — as an officer of the law, I know that a few bad apples can spoil the whole bunch anyway.”
Following the statements, campus announced a plan to greatly restrict any course output planned for the School of Information.
Photo adapted from Charles16e on Flickr.