Mis-Information Highway

In a world where information is shared globally within seconds, it shouldn’t be surprising to me how quickly mis-information spreads. And while I’m not entirely surprised by how quickly people become lemmings, (oh, so and so shared this, it MUST be true – I better share it too!) I will admit, it’s a bit of a pet-peeve of mine.

Here’s why. It takes less than 5 minutes to google a few reliable sources before you blindly post or share something. There are dozens of sites on the internet that help you do that.

http://www.snopes.com/snopes.asp

http://www.hoax-slayer.com/latest-information.html

http://www.thehoaxbuster.com/?how-to-spot-fake-videos-on-facebook,19

My general rule of thumb is if I can’t find a reliable source of truth, I err on the side of not sharing it.

Furthermore, I don’t know about you, but I live in a world where enough terrible stuff happens every day without me having to FEED it. I personally don’t WANT to share the negative stuff…I’d much rather spread joy than misery. And, if it’s true that I don’t want to share the negative, it’s also true that I don’t want to see it in my FB feed.

Yes, one of the convenient things about FB is that I can opt out of your feed, or opt out of the sites you’re sharing from…and trust me, I DO. But for me, it still kinda begs the question…why are you sharing it??! I’m actually genuinely baffled by this, and welcome and ask for comments and feedback on this one! I mean, I like to think that my friends are smart, or at least, not easily duped….so it makes me shake my head a little when some of this stuff pops up in their (thus my) feed. And what you need to know is that for every harmless video you post that’s just filled with false information you actually run the risk of posting one that’s filled with false information and a virus…and now, you’ve put your own information and technology at risk, and the information and technology of every person on your friends list who might fall for the same dupe you did.

I understand the slight ‘morbid twist’ that drives most of us (self included) to watch something terrible. As an affirmed horror film fanatic, I get it. But honestly, if you want to speak out against world atrocity, there’s PLENTY of them out there to speak out against. Find a reliable source, share an article, and speak UP about how it has to STOP. Every time you post a fake video saying ‘OMG this is TERRIBLE – help stop this!’ an ACTUAL terrible event goes ignored/unspoken about…think about that for a minute!!! Scary?! Yes, it is!

What you need to know is;
If the link says ‘OMG, You won’t BELIEVE this/what this person did/said/wore etc’ you shouldn’t believe it!

If it depicts children/animals being tortured/killed you PROBABLY shouldn’t believe it. I will note that SOME of these are likely true sadly, but honestly, for every real one there are literally THOUSANDS of fakes, and the posting of theses poses 2 HUGE problems for me. The first is, EW, REALLY, it’s awful that it may have happened in the first place, WHY would anyone want to watch or see it, the second is, some poor mother/father/family member out there suffered once….every time images like this replay, the suffering begins ALL over again. Usually, the ones to assume are fake are the ones saying the cops are asking the public for help capturing someone…ya no…they’re really not! It should be noted, if you’ve posted vids of children being harmed in your feed, that as a result have popped up in mine, I GUARANTEE I can’t see your feed anymore.

If the link claims that by liking or sharing some poor child who needs an operation receives money you shouldn’t believe it. Likewise if it claims you get a free ipod/ipad/money etc. In fact – these ones are usually virus filled and sharing them is risky as hell.

If the link says anything along the lines of ‘ignore this if you don’t care’ you should probably ignore it. Note, I can’t see your feed anymore if you post these…cause honestly – I DON’T care!

I will admit that some of these occasionally make me chuckle. I never ever click and watch, but sometimes the headlines are obvious enough to make me grin and roll my eyes…and shake my head at you.
No, there is NO mermaid inside the shark
No, the roller-coaster did NOT crash into any water – this one is actually a phishing scam folks!
No, they really DIDN’T clone a dinosaur in Britain

At the end of the day, the reality is, what you choose to do, share, say or allow in your own social network is entirely up to you, and frankly, none of my business. I posted this cause it’s a pet peeve, but really, I’m WELL aware it’s ultimately not my business. My suggestion is arm yourselves folks…given the world we live in, knowledge is quite literally at your fingertips – it’s powerful, heady stuff. There’s SO much awesome shit to read, why would you want to continue to read or follow the nonsense? But of course, you don’t HAVE to take my suggestions.

So what do you all think? What drives this spread of mis-information? Why are we all so easily duped? Why do we feel the need to share it? And, what are some of the awesome and obviously nonsense posts/vids you’ve all seen pop up?

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