At this point, I'd be hard pressed to find someone who hasn't heard about Kanye West's concert debacles. But regardless of your feelings on how he's conducted himself as of late, things have taken a more serious and concerning turn. This isn't just about entertainment anymore. According to a rep who spoke with the New York Times, Kanye West was hospitalized on Monday for exhaustion, but that brief explanation hasn't stopped the rumor mill from churning this into a longer and wilder story.
I think it'd be naive to expect there not to be rumors surrounding such a polarizing person in this sort of situation. It's how the internet works, after all. (I mean, we're talking about it right now, aren't we?) The only thing I ask is that we don't all jump on the rumor bandwagon. A rumor, regardless of its validity or not, is rarely the whole truth and statements that aren't in context can greatly misconstrue a situation. And let's all be real here: The internet can sometimes just be one long, confusing game of Telephone. How can we all be certain of something that's not first or secondhand information, but passed down and around by hundreds, or even thousands, of people?
For instance, there are an abundance of tweets going around that either sensationalize or over-exaggerate what West's rep says actually happened. The rumors are bigger and bolder, while the rep only confirmed a small amount of information to the NYT including that West was hospitalized for exhaustion, that the LAPD responded to a call on Monday, and that the rapper was taken to U.C.L.A. Medical Center.
So little confirmed information is out there about West's hospitalization that it feels unfair to follow any narrative surrounding the story just because the internet has generally accepted that it fits the situation best. I'm all for keeping up with information. I, too, am impossibly curious and like to be informed of the latest news, and there's nothing wrong with that, but fans should make sure to have the facts before spreading half-truths and assumptions. Because even though these statements may hold a kernel or two of authenticity, by tweeting out something that isn't entirely factual, only causes the next person who picks it up to exaggerate even further, distancing it from the truth even more.
This is something that goes far beyond this situation with Kanye West, but this particular game of Telephone makes for a good learning opportunity. Perpetuating fallacies is a harm to us all, because it means that we aren't a truly informed. It means that we're vultures of sorts, waiting for the juiciest, wildest news because it sadistically entertains us, rather than waiting for the real story — even if it is the more boring one.