Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Is it credible?

We see all kinds of information on the Internet and our Social websites. Some are funny, some are cute, and some make our blood boil. We like to share them. We read them and think how wonderful that we learned something new and want all our friends and acquaintances to know all about it too. So we share that link.

The question you need to ask yourself before you click share, is this: Is it credible?

The next question you should ask is, do I know for sure it is credible?

Before you share, check to see if the story is true. If you don't want to check, then please, do not share the story.

Pictures of little girls burned in a fire, cell phones cause brain tumors,  little boy shot protecting his sister, American flag hanging upside down at a McDonald's, artificial sweetener turning into formaldehyde, tropical spiders under airport toilet seats, and dialing 112 when pulled over by the police.

I have found that if you get past the first inflammatory paragraph of most of these articles, you will see how the picture/story is not quite what it seems. For instance, the McDonald's flying the flag upside down the day after election. Turns out one of the cables broke holding the flag.

Some have elements of truth. The little girl burned? She was in fact burned. The post said that someone would be sending her money for every time her photo is shared. There really was a little girl burned. In Poland. In 2005. That would be 7 years ago. The parents never saw a cent. Then again, who was sending the money?

Some allude to the truth. Electromagnetic waves can cause cancer. But the radio waves in your cell phone have not been linked to any kind of cancer.

Another story. This one really gives me pause. Lauren was being pulled over by a police officer, but her parents said don't do it because the office might really be a serial rapist. Instead call 112. Did you know that 112 is an emergency number? ...in Europe? If you are concerned, do call, but call 911, our very own emergency number.

Some of the stories are obviously patchwork. There was a story about how aspartame, the sweetener in Diet Coke, turned into formaldehyde in the desert heat of the war zone in Saudi Arabia (no mention of it doing so in the desert heat of the U.S.) circa 2002. Just last week, that same article is posted below picture of Splenda. Splenda contains sucralose, not aspartame.

My point is not the specifics of the story. My point is why are you clicking Share? If you cannot verify the story, do not share it. If you do not want to verify the story, do not share it. Note: a good place to start is Snopes.com, they have taken the time to research many of these stories.

If you can verify it, pass it on and include the link with the verification.

Keep the BugOff !

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