Sunday, November 25, 2012

Snopes.com: The Easy Way to Save Face on Facebook

I finally became acquainted with Snopes.com over the Thanksgiving weekend. I hope every single person I follow on Facebook gets to know it too, and starts using it too.

Yesterday, a guy I follow on Facebook posted a news report from years ago out of Canada that heralded dichloroacetate as a miracle drug for cancer. The report blamed "the big pharmaceutical companies" for keeping it from the public, and to my Facebook friend, this was another example of "american (sic) capitalist bullshit."

Checking the story out with a quick Google search, I came across Snopes.com, which set things straight.

And then today, a bevy of Facebook friends posted the same boilerplate statement to declare their ownership over their own content; within minutes, others were posting the Snopes.com entry that explained why this so-called legal talisman was useless.

The next time you're tempted to post a knee-jerk reaction to something you read on the internet, do yourself a favor and check out Snopes.com first. There's a fine line between moral outrage and ignorance (and then there's this, which is all to real).

The New York Times has written about this myth-debunking website, and mention a number of other fact-checking sources.