SPOKANE, Wash. – What is in a rumor?
The simplest definition is something that could be perceived as true, but is not.
Such was the case Thursday for Gonzaga’s Nigel Williams-Goss. A tweet sent out by a parody account of ESPN’s Jeff Goodman said Nigel was declaring for the NBA Draft. As is the case with most things on Twitter, it spread like wildfire.
It got to the point where Nigel took to Twitter himself to clear the air.
Heard some rumors circulating... just to be clear I still have not made any final decisions regarding my future.— Nigel Williams-Goss (@NigelWG5) April 13, 2017
“Heard some rumors circulating,” he wrote, “…just to be clear I still have not made any final decisions regarding my future.”
Most of the replies to the tweet were from Zags fans who were more than understanding – or just excited that the tweet saying Nigel was going to turn pro -- instead turned out to be fake.
“Do you boss. Love to see you back on the court to get that Natty, but you’ve done so much for us, you owe nothing,” wrote Twitter user Devin Treichel.
So why did that fake Goodman tweet garner so much attention? Well first, Jeff Goodman works for ESPN and is one of the most tapped-in sources in collegiate basketball.
Second, to the people that do use fake parody accounts for this purpose, stop that. It is not funny.
Third, we want to help you decipher these fake accounts before running with the rumors, so here we go.
Always look for the blue check mark. If it is a reputable source, almost 100 percent of the time it will have a blue check mark.
The two big names that haven’t yet decided (or announced) what they will do: Duke’s Grayson Allen and Gonzaga’s Nigel Williams-Goss.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) April 13, 2017
Also look at the amount of followers. There is no way a national writer like Goodman only has 87 followers.
Next, read the bio. Sometimes this is copy and pasted, but in this instance, it is not, it says “parody” right in the bio.
Finally, double check the Twitter handle itself. This can be tricky, obviously, there are not three “O”’s in Goodman and that is hard to catch the first time around. So before you run with it and hit the retweet button, just give it a glance.