There! I've said it that's all you need to know.
If however you choose to believe such stuff, I
welcome your gullible and naive minds with the
open and comforting arms of Wisdom.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation DOES
give money away, but goes through a much
more rigorous selection process than . . .
"Forward this email to ten other people."
It IS NOT in your inbox
In our quest for truth, here are some items
we can dispose of right away:
* Forwarding emails will not help, heal or give a dying child a trip to Disney World
* There is NO BILL in Congress that will prohibit religious broadcasting.
* The government IS NOT releasing cell phone numbers to telemarketers.
* Like him or not, President Obama IS a US Citizen
Bill Gates IS NOT giving money away to You!
So, Why DO people send this stuff around?
Two reasons - They are either naive or stupid. Let's deal with the innocent
Naivety is not a crime. Simply put, it is usually a case of lacking experience
and understanding or misplacing trust in an untrustworthy source. I find that
the vast majority of people who ask me to "check this out" fall into this
category. . .They are often people with little internet savvy, unable or unwilling
to find information for themselves. Where the real social affront enters, is from
those who forward bad information, innuendo or outright lies. People who do
so, are placing an understood, but unspoken value of truth to the lie. In other
words, the innocent may say "I could hardly believe what I read, but it was
sent to me by Bob and I trust him."
Based on that misguided sense of trust, the person may forward it to even more
people (somehow they HAVE learned to do that much) thereby adding their seal
of presumed authenticity to the rumor. In my experience, if you can hardly
believe it, there's a reason why. Incredible things CAN happen, but a free press
usually picks up on it, in spite of all the conspiracy theorists out there. If you
can't or won't verify it from two or more sources - DON'T FORWARD! I have
one friend who tells me that when he finds out something isn't true, he sends
an email to retract it - totally worthless - -at that point it has multiplied a
Stupid is as Stupid Does - Forest said it, I believe it, and that settles it!
Every time someone tells me that something is "idiot proof," I have to remind
them - NOTHING IS IDIOT PROOF TO A REALLY DETERMINED IDIOT!
Unfortunately, a large group of people who spread these types of email fit this
description. The rumor usually aligns well with their Political or Sociological
mindset, so no matter how far fetched or un-substantiated the message is,
they're going to forward it. This last election cycle produced some of the most
outrageous rumors and lies the internet has ever seen - and I expect it to only
We're so close to the cure - won't you please help? There are many sites
that can give you the straight poop on the more common myths and rumors.
Use the quick links in the side bar to go directly to a "Myth-Buster" site. . Here's
some helpful tips:
Object, Predicate, Subject. - The simple rules of sentence structure are
your key to enlightenment. Say you get the usual rant from somebody
that says the President is giving your social security away to illegal aliens.
Go to the search bar on your favorite truth sites and type in:
Obama Social Security Aliens
If you start with Google instead of a rumor site, the first several hits will
take you to many places that will refute or substantiate the rumor, often
times giving a back story as to how the rumor may have come about.
That's all there is to it!
Snopes - I'll deal with this site first of all because it is one of the more
comprehensive references out there - So much so, that crackpots are now
sending emails around discounting the validity of the site! I always urge people
to check at least two sites to verify or disprove a rumor. In My Humble Opinion,
I find most of the site's articles to be fair and unbiased, but when you are
talking about rumors that involve Politics and Religion, it's hard to convince
some people that even the truth isn't slanted.
Uban Legends - This is part of the gigantic ABOUT.COM site, an affiliate of the
New York Times. It covers most of the same rumors as Snopes and is a great
"second source" to validate another site. . It a very busy looking site, filled with
a lot of advertizing. I had to spend a few seconds (a cyberworld eternity) to
find the SEARCH box in the upper right corner.
ScamBusters - This site deals pretty much with the e-mail scams that go
around.This site is also heavy with ads, so be careful where you click. The right
hand column has a list of scams & hoaxes and has a search bar just above it.
Do you like to tell stories? - No harm in that. It's a time honored profession,
different from flooding in-boxes with spam and is a great family or community
event. These are tall-tales of Americana and are very entertaining to relate
while keeping only the very young wondering.
And Lastly - FactChecker - For the old-wives who love tales about who's
selling the country down the drain, here's a non-partisan site that digs into the
stories. Keep in mind that "non-partisan" means absolutely nothing to the hard
Right or Left!