When Typhoon Hagibis struck Tokyo on Oct. 12, news emerged that three homeless people had been turned away from an emergency evacuation facility in Taito Ward. As the story spread, it varied in tone and content on social media. Some thought the persons refused entry were not actually homeless, while others thought that even if they were the officials at the facility were right to reject them because they weren’t registered at addresses in the ward.

Mainstream media later checked and found the story to be true. Apparently, the staff at the facility, an elementary school, didn’t know what to do and called their supervisor, who said not to admit them if they couldn’t prove residency. A member of an organization supporting the homeless asked if there was another facility these people could go and staff replied that there wasn’t, though there was a place where foreign tourists could go and, presumably, it would accept the homeless as well.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
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