The more stuff I see on Facebook, the more irritated I get. And I am not as irritated with the original writer or creator as I am with the lazy, lazy people who just keep sharing garbage - without checking accuracy first.
The original creator has an agenda, usually political or religious in nature. And many times, facts get in the way of a meme that blasts the president or Islam or whoever/whatever is the target of the day. It's kinda like Carly Fiorina and her infamous videos - remember? The videos that never existed, the videos that the creators finally admitted were fraudulent and edited with the purpose of misleading? Well, Fiorina had an agenda and she stuck by her story to the bitter end. What she counted on was lazy news consumers to spread those lies ... and they did.
It usually takes about thirty seconds to check a story or a set of statistics. A Google search will usually give you what you need. But most people won't take the time and that's because the meme or article fits the reader's agenda, too! Simple, huh? Hey ... if you hate the president, then you will be more than happy to share the "news story" about the president being part of a conspiracy to murder Justice Scalia! Oh, yes ... that started making the rounds within a few hours of Scalia's death - and some of my "friends" are more than happy to keep it going even though there is nothing to it. Nada. Zip. Zilch. No evidence of any such thing.
Faking a news story is actually very easy. I bet you that within three hours, I can buy a domain name, then put up a website with a newsy name and a logo. I can make up some reporters, write a few stories, grab a couple pictures off the internet, and then share one of those stories. Let's say I write about a child who was punished at school for saying grace before eating his lunch - he was spanked and made to sit outside in the cold while other children ate inside the warm cafeteria. Well, you can bet that the "war on Christianity" soldiers would grab that story in a heartbeat and it would go viral in minutes. They wouldn't check:
- Source of the story
- Who is quoted in the story
- Location of the story
- Credibility of the publication or reporter
Just do some checking before you post. And if you do post something that is proven false, then delete it. That's the responsible thing to do. When you leave a false story or meme on your Facebook wall - even after it's been proven false - then you let the rest of us know a lot about your character - or lack of one.