05 July 2006

Snopes.com/Save us from ourselves

I got an e-mail about Swiffer causing the death of pets this morning. It was sent out to a wide distribution (~70 folks) because some well meaning person did not actually validate the accuracy of what they were reading.

People, people, people. Fergawdssake, please get to know Snopes.com. Use it. Liberally. That's what it's there for.

Snopes.com investigates urban legends, rumors and even those "facts" that swear it was their brother's best friend to which it happened. There are some (very few) ligitimate concerns zipping through the internet mill and snopes.com can verify those, too, but most of what you read is completely bogus. (Think: Neiman Marcus $250 cookie recipe, Target being French owned and not supporting veteran causes, 'forward this message written by this terminally ill child and the cancer society will give a donation', etc.)

When I get these sorts of things, I want to call the people that forward them and ask them "Did you know there's a picture of you in the dictionary under the word gullible?", "Is your refrigerator running?", "Do you have Prince Albert in a can?" and any other lame gag I can think of from 20 years ago.

But I don't. I quietly look up the latest "scare tactic/smear campaign" on snopes.com and forward the information to them with a plea to check snopes.com before they forward more information of this ilk.

Perhaps the internet can be credited with making us a bit more wary of what comes our way. Good thing? Depends on your belief system, I suppose.


Rich I said...

I also highly recommend www.urbanlegends.com for the same reason.

Reiza-Mara said...

LOL because that Swiffer one was what sent me over the edge too. I got that from someone I know on a professional basis and I almost screamed. #1. That's unprofessional. #2. It's WRONG. #3. It's obnoxious. #4. It's just plain lazy to send the blasted e-mail to 70 people when a 10 second trip to Snopes would have told you the truth.

Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

Like you said, though, great minds...