Roger Stokes is NOT the Guy in the Video Re-Tweeted by POTUS!
Death threats continue because of mistaken identity gone viral on social media and via news outlets.
By: Roger Stokes
Now, Roger Stokes, who wasn't anywhere near the demonstration, finds himself navigating his new life that comes courtesy of regular threats to him and his family—a new life that, according to Stokes' attorneys, includes him being forced to flee his home in The Villages immediately after the false identification was posted.
Stokes' troubles gained considerable momentum when the POTUS re-tweeted the video, accusations by trigger-happy social media participants ensued, and media outlets throughout the country piled on. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue didn't help when it released a statement, based on this false information, that its retired employee "acted as a private citizen, and his views and actions are not representative of who we are and what we stand for …" and then eventually withdrew the statement after apparently realizing that Stokes is not the man in the video. Unfortunately, the media retractions by some news outlets—including that of the Miami Herald—after realizing the mistaken identity, have not helped much either.
Never mind that the golf cart in the video is clearly not the same as the one owned by Roger Stokes or that Roger Stokes did not attend the rally. Never mind that apparently no one bothered to verify either before passing on the misinformation via social media, newspaper articles and television. The damage is done.
The lesson? Social media has become king in terms of the dispersal of news and information, no matter how accurate or inaccurate it may be, and therefore comes with great responsibility. Meanwhile, because of the irresponsibility of a number of purveyors of that so called "news," Roger Stokes and his family continue to receive threats and will be looking over their shoulder for the foreseeable future.
Colleen Hawkins, The MS Factor