Fighting Fake News: A Mini Law Student Memoir from Two Days in the Trenches

I got sucked into debunking a fake news story. I spent two days tracking its spread and responding to the lies. Here’s the story of what happened and what I learned.

Last week an acquaintance on Facebook posted a screenshot of a headline which read “CA Democrats Introduce LGBTQ Bill that would Protect Pedophiles who Rape Children.” He captioned his post “truth or fiction? #horrifying if true.”

This social media move was a paradigmatic example of lazy yet insidious partisan pot-stirring. By posting a screenshot of the headline rather than a link to the article itself, the poster put the burden on the audience to figure out what the hell was going on. He also increased the likelihood that others would believe the headline by failing to provide the most convenient method for additional assessment (clicking on the article). And by writing a banal question and hypothetical “if” claim, the poster likely sought to distance himself for any flak if the headline turned out to be false or misleading. (Spoiler alert: the headline was false and misleading.)

Continue reading “Fighting Fake News: A Mini Law Student Memoir from Two Days in the Trenches”

When Life Begins: A Reply to Dr. Matthew Borths

This article is a response to Josh Craddock’s opinion piece The Least Safe Space,” which ran on March 7, 2016, and Dr. Matthew Borths’s letter to the editor, A Response to ‘The Least Safe Space’,” which ran on March 8.


Dr. Borths’ response to Josh Craddock’s article appears to make two main points:

  1. Craddock’s credibility is questionable; and
  2. Craddock does not adequately support the proposition that human life begins at—that is, a human organism begins to exist at the moment of—conception. [1]

But the arguments Dr. Borths offers in support of these points are not only weak; they are also hypocritical.

Continue reading “When Life Begins: A Reply to Dr. Matthew Borths”

Opposing Views: Abortion – Texas is Lying; Unmasking their Motives and Protecting Women’s Autonomy

This op-ed is part of a new Harvard Law Record feature highlighting opposing views from members of the HLS community. Related views on this topic can be found below.

Does anyone, on any side of the abortion debate, sincerely believe Texas when it says it is enacting draconian laws targeted at closing abortion clinics because it wants to improve women’s health? Does anyone really think that restrictive regulations that will close the majority of access points to health care, regulations that the American Medical Association believes are unnecessary and counterproductive, regulations that will force many women into the far more dangerous medical procedures of either childbirth or D.I.Y. abortions, are there to protect women from the almost non-existent dangers of their safest option once they are pregnant? The closure of many clinics in response to the regulations of HB2 has led to weeks-long waiting lists at the remaining clinics – it is bad both for the health of a woman and for those who care about the developing fetus to delay the procedure until later in the pregnancy due to inadequate clinic access.

Continue reading “Opposing Views: Abortion – Texas is Lying; Unmasking their Motives and Protecting Women’s Autonomy”

Opposing Views: Abortion – In Defense of Life

This op-ed is part of a new Harvard Law Record feature highlighting opposing views from members of the HLS community. Related views on this topic can be found below.

In a few weeks, an 8-justice Supreme Court is set to hear a case challenging “HB2”, a Texas law that could close more than three-quarters of the state’s abortion clinics. Pro-choice advocates have vehemently opposed the legislation from the start, citing the devastating impact the restrictions could have on women’s health. Pro-life advocates champion HB2 as a common sense protection of women’s safety.

Continue reading “Opposing Views: Abortion – In Defense of Life”