Tag Archives: check your sources

A Rant (but a gentle one, I promise!)

Published / by Robyn Jane / Leave a Comment

Like too many other people in the world, I spend waste way too much time on Facebook.  What can I say? It is a convenient way to keep in touch with people. Of course, it’s also like ancient Egypt, where people wrote on walls and worshipped cats. And it’s also like being in jail: you have no privacy, people write on the walls, and complete strangers poke you.

But on the whole, I usually enjoy it.

But.  There are a lot of people on Facebook who must think they’re politicians, because they say a lot of things that aren’t true, they spout off their mouths without regard for the truth, and they don’t do the least amount of fact-checking.

So for those reasons, I’d like to share with you a web site that I refer to when I read something on Facebook that sounds just too outrageous to be true: Snopes. The site bills itself as the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation.

In fact, I just made use of the site tonight, when someone had just posted a warning about carjackers sticking $100 bills under your windshield wipers in Walmart parking lots. Then, when you got out of your car to get it, they stole your car. Well, I couldn’t understand why the carjackers didn’t just grab your keys before you got in the car in the fist place, but I wanted proof. So I went to www.snopes.com and found out that this urban legend has been around since 2004. I also found out that there has never been a single case of this happening that was reported to any police department in the country (for the complete story, see http://www.snopes.com/crime/warnings/carjack.asp).

Okay, so this has nothing to do with the usual topics on this blog, but I just wanted to unload.