As we've seen time and again, it can be easy for comments or images to be taken out of context in today's fast-paced media environment. Once a certain idea gains momentum on social media, it can be very hard to stop.
Sports fans learned that lesson again this week after a photo of Duke basketball players posing with what looked like rifles was posted on Deadspin. As there was no context with the photo, it generated some controversy after it spread on Twitter:
Very interested to see how this somewhat jarring pic moves through the Internet ... pic.twitter.com/KgrWMFvUSv
— Nick Fasulo (@nickfasuloSBN) October 13, 2013
As part of a trip to New York the Duke basketball team was visiting Coach Mike Krzyzewski's alma mater, West Point. There they spent some time at a combat simulator using laser weapons.
Jon Jackson, Duke's associate director of athletics, said the players were given some time to take photos, and some of those images were posted on the players' Facebook pages.
"If you take the image by itself and it's taken out of context, it could be seen as are we somehow glamorizing gun violence or something like that," Jackson said. "Clearly, (that's) not the case."
While the image appears to be harmless, Jackson said the school would use this as a teachable social media moment for players.