A rumor is not news

Want to avoid Facebook hoaxes? Keep a critical mind when you read anything online. Actually, keep that same mindset when you read the newspaper and watch television. What you might notice is that a lot of so-called news amounts to little more than rumors. If a post doesn’t give you some good supporting evidence about, let’s say, a pedophile, rapists, or kidnapper, then you don’t have a real reason to believe it.

Does that mean that the post is incorrect? Not necessarily. It’s quite possible that a correct statement won’t have any  supporting evidence. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should believe the statement until you see some support.

If you use this perspective, then you’re going to avoid a lot of gimmicks on the internet.

This is also a useful perspective for life in general. Without real evidence, news is nothing more than rumors. If you want to be really safe, then consider the sources of provided evidence. If your supporting evidence is a quote from your best friend or a news bit on Podunk Channel 4, then perhaps you should reconsider the story’s validity. We could, after all, create lots of fictional support for an unfounded statement.

What it comes down to is this: the internet is a mildly dangerous place, and that includes Facebook. If you don’t want to be taken advantage of, then think about your actions and, dare I write it, even your own thinking. No evidence? Then just delete the things that are posted on your Fb wall. I, for one, believe that rumors and unfounded statements are potentially dangerous, and I want nothing to do with them.

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~ by facebookhoaxes on October 28, 2010.

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