News cycles may be short.

   But the memory of “trolls” online seems to be longer.

   Though “we’ve had numerous news organizations fact-check this story and come to the conclusion that the allegations made ... are completely false,” as Ripon College Vice President for Marketing Melissa Anderson said, the college continues to weather continued scrutiny, even nearly a week later.

   “We find out nowadays that the truth isn’t good enough sometimes,” she said. “... There’s a lot of insidious work being done behind the scenes to keep promulgating the fake news. Our new reality is to be prepared for it and we have to combat it.”

   In the days since the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) alleged Ripon College was working to keep certain 9/11 posters from being posted on campus, the college has endured a trial-by-fire approach to learning how to deal with what it perceives to be undue negative press.

   As Anderson explained, she and others at the college have discovered “that fake news spreads really, really fast — and really far.

   “The other thing that’s really important to this story, on a national scale, is how certain groups can take advantage of the anger and the fear surrounding a tragedy and turn it to their advantage. We’ve definitely seen that in this case. We’ve had calls from people who were directly impacted by what happened on 9/11. We’ve had people from all over the country calling us and emailing us, sending us not-so-nice comments on social media.”

Read the full story in the Sept. 6, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.