One of my pet peeves is wrong and uninformed statements put out on the internet as fact. You used to find it in those annoying, pervasive “email forwards” of some stupid rumor.
(Or, maybe it’s just that the people on my contact list know better than to send me those forwards because I immediately go to Snopes or HoaxSlayer and send the sender a link of the “real story.”)
Now, the playground of misinformation has spread throughout social media. Facebook is no longer safe (“1,000,000 “likes” will give this poor, sweet, child a new kidney”), and Pinterest had today’s irritating post:
(Really? What makes you thinks that converting something protected by copyright in one form to another form avoids the copyright? The mere act of converting a video to MP3 is a violation of copyright.)
To add to the annoyance factor, once something like this is uploaded to the internet – even if removed by the poster, later – it’s there forever and periodically gains renewed life when someone finds it and puts it back into circulation. How many times have you seen the same meme or post or appeal come around – even if you know it’s not true (or, rather, especially if it’s not true)?
Are we lazy? Yes. Gullible? Certainly. Is this any different than world that existed before the internet invaded out lives? Not at all – it’s just multiplied by an exponential factor of easy access and easier perpetuation by re-posting, re-tweeting, or sharing.
Please, Dear Reader, take a minute and verify the truth of something before you go posting it on the internet. The sanity you save might be mine.