PSA: Fact Check Before You Facebook

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

It’s inevitable. As more people and pages pop up on Facebook, information spreads more and more quickly. And as any journalist will tell you, if it bleeds it leads. So every Facebook login is an assault on your sensibilities, a barrage of world-ending, soul-crushing alerts about new predators and corporate corruption.

Except, not really. I love my Facebook friends, but I estimate that 75% of the posts I see shared in my feed (that means they came from some other source, not my friends’ original content) are false. And I have some smart friends! But the fear that these hoaxes create is real, and my friends can’t help but pass them along.

In a lot of ways, these “share scares” are the new chain letter. It’s not exactly good manners to keep your friends in the dark about the latest terror to befall them. And bad luck is sure to ensue if you don’t warn them. Luckily, the good people at Snopes get up and go to work every day debunking these myths. So please, keep them in business and keep my feed clear from nonsense. Check a story for accuracy before you tell Facebook the world is ending. Again.

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