Just about everyone likes to be “in the know” when it comes to the people and places in our daily lives. Unfortunately, that urge to know the latest information about anything—whether that be about a business, organization or individual—can lead down a road that strays from the facts. Gossip has existed since the beginning of time but social media seems to have amplified the problem. Recent headlines can attest to that.

This week reporter Tom Wearing spoke to the owners of Imlay City’s Pizza Machine. Michelle and Frank Floreno felt it was necessary to dispel any rumors that their longtime eatery was closing or up for sale. Like many businesses, they’ve been impacted by the pandemic but they’re still proudly producing handmade pizzas and sweet treats and look forward to doing so for many more years.

In a similar vein, several Capac residents were convinced this summer that the Middle School was destined to be turned into low income housing. Some construed that the facility could be used for drug rehabilitation purposes. It appears the source for this wildly untrue information was Facebook. Currently, the school district is finalizing the sale of the building to developers who want to give the vacant building new life as senior apartments—a concept that’s found success in many other communities.

It’s pretty obvious that we don’t help each other or our communities when we let speculation trump facts. It can drive customers away from businesses, fuel unnecessary and unhealthy emotions and just generally cause hardship for anyone or anything in its path.

As upright citizens we must always seek out reliable sources of information and refrain from passing along rumors we don’t trust or can’t be verified.

The power of words can’t be denied. It’s a tenet of the work we do as journalists and we encourage all others in this community to keep that in mind too.