Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Viral Stories and Lies

There's a study out there about how the media, especially the online component, is too quick to jump on viral content rather than do a little bit of fact-checking. As the editor to Gawker put it:
“The internet next year is going to be unbelievably stupid and condescending, confusing and deafeningly loud, red-hot with misplaced outrage, unable to calibrate its reactions. ... Already ankle-deep in smarmy bullshit and fake ‘viral’garbage, we are now standing at the edge of a gurgling swamp of it.”
Of all of the places, Facebook is among the worst for this sort of crap. Somebody will post a story about some guy who's supposedly abducting dogs or some kid who's missing; but if you care to research it, you'll find out that the guy is in jail or was innocent and that the kid was found and returned home three years ago.

The thing I've found is that people get really annoyed when you tell them that they are forwarding bullshit. After a few call-outs, people who would forward chain e-mails stop, especially if you use "reply all" to let everyone know that the sender is, by implication, a gullible imbecile who swallows outrageous stories without a hit of critical thought, people will stop including you on the email chain. Which is a win, as far as I'm concerned.


mikey said...

mikey's guide to an enjoyable FaceBook experience:

1.) Never, ever, under any circumstances 'LIKE' anything. It distorts the algorithms driving your News Feed and makes a lot of weird assumptions based on your 'likes'.

2.) NEVER click on the links. Well, it's probably safe to click on the links to my blog posts, but other than that it takes you to a far-off land called "Duh" where everybody is stupid and gullible and uses terrible English grammar.

3.) When in doubt, see #2...

DTWND said...

A friend posted last December that it was the first time in 276 years that the month had 5 Saturdays, Sunday's, and Monday's. Just by looking at the calendar one could see that it was not true. Additionally, the 1941 calendar was the same as 2014. That was the year that I first thought of to refute the claim, ther are others, I'm sure. Still this friend would quote this even AFTER I showed her the canledar. Common sense isn't that common

Old NFO said...

Concur with all... sigh...

Deadstick said...

For the canonical example, google Craig Shergold.