Could you imagine NOT being allowed to collect arrowheads, relics or even metal detecting? Sounds like a nightmare that could never happen, but such machinations are in the works and Social Media may be fueling the fire! Here is why and here is how to protect your beloved hobby and yourself:
The photo above saddens me as an evangelist of collecting artifacts and metal detecting legally. Why does the photo above sadden me? What a photo or news story for that matter will never reveal is the TRUTH behind the photo or video. It reminds me of an old Cold War Russian saying: “There is no truth in the news and there is no news in the truth”. Sad, but true.
Now, you- me and the millions of others of collectors in the United States and the added millions around the globe know most everyone who has and collects artifacts and relics do so legally, but that does NOT stop the propaganda alarmists machine from grinding its gears. The following video (which I recommend you watch before reading the rest of this blog story) will show you JUST HOW UGLY this issue has become:
That headline is appealing, but that DID NOT stop a top Arkansas News Station from running the story!
Now why am I even writing on this point once again and how does it relate to Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and all Social Media?
Remember the 1st photo I posted above and explained how we really DO NOT know the whole story behind a photo? Well, when that horrible and irresponsibly reported TV new-story ran above tying to make a link between Arrowhead collecting, drugs and child pornography an ADMIN of a Facebook Group actually sent an online message that was ill conceived to the station broadcasting the fraudulent story. Yes, he thought he was defending the hobby, but you MUST consider these issues from the medias point of view and not your personal view.
Here is what I mean when I say that – The media DOES NOT and never has operated off of GOOD NEWS. That stopped back in the 1950’s. Nowadays news – to get viewers MUST be controversial and combative. It is these controversial and combative stories that get the most traction and thus the most viewers. With that said, please remember I come from the “TV and Broadcasting” Industry and was not only on TV weekly for years, but also Coast to Coast Talk Radio, so I know how the media works and how the media thinks. So here is what really happened:
When the Arrowhead Collecting Facebook group reached out via Facebook to the Investigative TV Reporter he did TWO THINGS that can hurt the hobby and all the people who hold it near and dear to their hearts.
(1) when he identified himself (by name of course) he immediately connected his 1313 Facebook Friends directly to his statements and plight, and;
(2) when he named his group “Artifact Additions” to the Investigative Reporter, he inadvertently named over 1000 normal, law abiding, arrowhead collecting enthusiast to this bogus reporting story (I can only imagine how the News Producer laughed out loud when someone responding to the news story about being addicted to drugs being supported by arrowhead collecting brought a response from the FOUNDER of Artifact Addictions on Facebook – oooops).
The News Producer, surely, immediately looked at this guys Facebook page and what did he see there: Photos of this guy, holding beers, partying and being generally glassy eyed in all his photos! Even worse, in his contact to the TV station he said “we don’t dig”, but as soon as the TV Producer checked the facebook group out, what did they see? “Look what I dug up”, “hey anyone wanna go dig with me?” and worse “hey want to buy this item I dug?”
Can you see just how bad this looks to the whole hobby and industry? One person, speaking for thousands on SOCIAL MEDIA actually (by virtue of posting) gave the TV station a list to comb over and find people with artifacts! Horrible judgement call.
It is exactly this type of uneducated and ill conceived action that can have a whole beloved hobby come tumbling down. Why? TV Reporters already have an agenda when doing a story, and if you watched the story above then you can fully recognize the TV Reporters agenda – to make collecting artifacts and arrowheads be considered horrible and acts of druggies and child pornographers. So now, armed with Facebook profiles and group profiles the reporter and others against collecting artifacts will just collect names, id’s and photos and start building the case “to outlaw collecting of various artifacts”.
HOW CAN YOU PREVENT THIS AND PROTECT YOURSELF?
We all know that less than maybe .05% of collectors actually obtain their artifacts illegally, but then again that is the facts and the news does not want the facts, they want sensational stories. So what YOU CAN DO is protect yourself with the facts.
Step 1: STOP posting SELFIES of you digging – The following photos are huge no-no’s
What is wrong with the above Social Media Pictures?
1. Showing digging. It is the act of digging that has been outlawed.
2. Showing the PERSON holding the artifact that was dug
3. Showing the PERSON’S FACE, at the dig, holding the artifact. Get it?
Now here is how one should legally show their artifacts off:
The moral of the story? Stop posting or making public photographs like these two:
Why? Because people who want to paint you in a bad light can and will use the photo against you and they can say you were doing this illegally, EVEN if you were abiding by the law. So nowadays Social Media can hurt you and your beloved hobby, so please know what to post and what not to post.
Know the laws, protect yourself, always follow the laws and rules. Here are a few more items collectors should do in today’s and age:
1. If you BUY artifacts – keep your receipts close at hand and readily available
2. If you find artifacts ALWAYS how photos of HOW YOU FIND THEM OUT ON THE GROUND , since most people pick up exposed artifacts to rescue them and keep them from being destroyed. i.e., photo of artifact laying out on the ground where you found it.
3. If you do DIG on PRIVATE LAND do two things. Video tape your finds there as you find them AND always have a signed and dated release (that matches your video and camera date and time stamp) so you can prove your legal collecting of artifacts.
4. And in closing, remember EVERYONE can see social media and it is fully searchable.
All the best, stay informed and support the hobby and help every one learn the rules and laws and protect your favorite passion and outdoor hobby!