The ‘Share’ Epidemic In Social Media Sweeping The Nation
Time and again I see outrageous claims posted and shared on social media from people who I normally consider to be very intelligent. Today was no exception.
Aparently overnight the internet was invaded by the "misinformation fairy" and everyone forgot to take their anti-misinformation vitamins. I say this because everwhere I looked people were posting this:
Ok, let me just help you out for a second. If at any point in time you read an article and you think "Oh my gosh are you serious!? I can't believe this!" STOP... step away from the share button... and go here instead:
If you aren't familiar with the word "Snopes" you should get familiar and fast. This is a site dedicated to fact checking and exposing any hoaxes that exist on the internet. Consider this your anti-misinformation cure!
- Your cousin posts about the "Albino-Aisian-Swine Flu" sweeping the nation, and you're tempted to share her post? Snopes it.
- Got a friend who posts about the latest article proving public toilets can make you pregnant? Snopes it.
- Your co-worker posts that facebook is going to start charging you to maintain your privacy? SNOPES IT!
And I'm not telling you this solely because the spread of mis-information is annoying. It's also to warn you. According to snopes the Facebook rumor first started in December of 2009 and was perpetuated by hackers who created a group page called "We are against paying $4.99 for Facebook" (guess prices have gone up since '09) so they could access personal information.
The lesson here is, if it sounds strange or unbelievable? It probably is. And if you're not sure? Fact check, fact check, fact check!