Those Internet Hoaxes
As we rely more on the internet for our information, I think its imperative to be questioning about what we see. A few weeks ago the old Facebook hoax popped up again. My newsfeed was filled with declarations of what and how the site could use their content.
The first thing that occurred to me is this, we have already agreed to terms of service to use it. If these terms had truly changed then we as participants would be sent notice of these changes and would have to agree to them.
The second thing was by declaring such things on your personal page does not negate the previously agreed upon terms of service. Which we all agreed to whether or not we actually read them.
I have been taken by a hoax on social media which is why these type of things are such a pet peeve of mine. We see it shared and repeated enough on our timelines that we believe it to be true.
Whether its a click bait article containing half a story or people thinking it is National whatever day, it’s important to verify information. Especially as the internet as a whole becomes our main source for news.
I grew up in a house where my family not only read the local newspaper, but also subscribed to the Sunday edition of the New York Times. We also watched the nightly news broadcast, discussing the stories during the commercial breaks. This taught me to seek out more than one source for my news.
We must be vigilant in this today. It is easy to Google and verify a story. I like to check out Snopes.com, MiamiHerald.com and NPR. When a story is true the same facts will be present. Dispelling myths and rumors.
This most recent hoax was relatively harmless but it should be alarming to us. In that this was not a new hoax, how quickly will this one be forgotten and our news feeds filled with similar declarations?
Or what if we aide in spreading dangerous misinformation? Once something is believed to be true, it is difficult to convince that it is not. Consider this as we begin the long road for the Presidency. It does not take but a few moments to verify information.