Thursday, October 17, 2013

Don't Believe Everything on the Internet

It never fails, everyday I log onto Facebook, or Twitter, I am blasted with information, links, memes, ads, politics, the end of the world, Hollywood, sports, it just never, never ends, a constant spiral of information, wrong information, opinions, blogs, websites, books, Youtube videos, it just doesn't stop.
What are we supposed to believe? What is real? How do we know what is true and what is not true?What are websites and bloggers, gaining, by throwing so much disinformation out there??
Are there hidden agendas surrounding every tiny thing in this world?
OR, are there maybe just some things that are just the way they are, the way they seem to be?
I miss books and newspapers I think the most. At least it is printed and can not be changed...
But have you ever noticed that it is real simple for a website or a blog, to make page changes? It really is a bit weird if you think about it. I mean, sure, it is a useful tool when you need to edit something, but some sites tend to make page changes, just a bit to often, and not for good things either.
On the internet, everybody and anybody can be a superstar! We can all start a blog, have a network, own a few sites, we all have influence over somebody, whether it's your Facebook friends, your Twitter followers, your blog readers, your fans, or just some random person who just so happened to Google search a keyword, and landed on your post.
I don't know about you, but this disturbs me, just a little bit.
Giving credit to those who distort the truth, exaggerate, make false accusations and make them viral, makes me a bit sick in the stomach. Especially when, they have ulterior motives...
Ulterior motives, such as: hits, ads, getting to the top of Google, sponsors, page rank, Alexa ratings, paid advertisers, and on and on and on! All of that, just for making up a story and posting it online, and linking it as many places as they can get it.
Why are these people so successful?
Is it because people tend to just glance at something and say, "OMG! I can't believe this!!" ?? It is so easy and quick to hit the share button, and then the fabricated story is shared amongst your friends, and then 3 of your friends share it, and then 2 of each of their friends, and 2 of each of their friends, and BOOM! This to crazy to be true, story, is now viral.
You just helped the creep behind the "fibs", grab a few hundred, or even a few thousand, hits. Well played, Mr or Mrs Creep behind the exaggerated, ok, just plain old, LIE.
What can we do, as internet users, to make sure to not allow such garbage to spread across the universe?
Well, we could double and triple check some sources, before scaring people, or being involved in slander.
A good idea would be to see where else such a story was published, are there links? Click those links once.....where do they go?
For example:
The US Government has now called for Martial Law.
(Really??) WOW!  WHEN????
Well, so and so on this website says it happened yesterday... and he has a link... CLICK IT BEFORE YOU RUN AROUND LIKE A NUT, GRABBING ALL THE CANNED FOOD AND JUMPING IN YOUR BOMB SHELTER!
So, here is where Google can be your friend. THINK! (your brain is also a very important part of the process!)
If this would have happened.... wouldn't there be something somewhere? Even just maybe, CNN, FOX, NBC, (contrary to what some think, yes, mainstream media may not tell the whole story all the time.... but with something as big as this, they will be on it!!)
So, you don't see anything? Nope?
Ok, well, next thing is, open up your door.... anybody running around? Nope..OK WHEW!!! It's probably NOT happening.
You used your BRAIN, you RESEARCHED, and you LOOKED AROUND YOU, and nothing.
What does that tell you? IT DID NOT HAPPEN!
Cool beans! Because, that would be a mess, eh?
Let's discuss the next example:
(insert your favorite singer here)... said, during a TV interview, (insert something shocking here)
Ok, well, BEFORE you scream and yelp and hit that "SHARE" button, relax, breathe, and remember, you have a BRAIN!!!!
Now, it said, it was an interview, right? So, that should tell you that it has been recorded, somewhere, so use Google, and RESEARCH!
Once you find a video that has (insert superstar), OPEN YOUR EYES AND YOUR EARS AND LISTEN!!
What did he really say? Was it taken out of context?
Once you unravel all of the rumors, the exaggerations, the nonsense, you may find that what was said, wasn't even bad at all. Or maybe, just maybe, was not ever said!
So many people nowadays, only read the headlines, or read a comment, or a memes, and they shriek and squeal and believe every word of it. 
Please, try and stay calm, and think. Commom sense is our friend!
There are many ways to check, and double check everything you see online. Just make sure to do it, before you get yourself in a frazzled mess! (or somebody else)
There are those sites that check for you, you can always visit some of those sites..(even though, some may say, "Well, I don't trust what they say..") and that is fine too. (I don't always either).. but, it will clarify some things for you and maybe send you off on more leads.
Page checking sites are also a plus! Not necessarily needed for everybody, but if you blog, post a lot, share a lot, you may want to sign up for an account and set up specific sites.
Page checker sites, allow you to set up any pages from the internet, to be checked, and they will email you of any and all changes.
This is a very important tool for any website owner, blogger, or anybody who spreads news of any kind.
I have a few sites I check on, 24?7, just to see what they are adding or deleting on specific stories. That way, I know to be very cautious of anything I ead on those sites, or on shared links.
There aren't really any excuses for sharing false information, especially when all you need to do is think and research for yourself.
Be particularly careful with "satire sites". These sites will make up the most elaborate, nuttiest stories, and people, and even newspaper sites and news sites, will sometimes fall for these satire sites and share across the web as well.
If you remember these rules, you should be in good shape to start sharing videos, and stories, and be known as somebody who tries their best to stick with the facts :)
THINK for yourself. DON'T trust everything you see online.
GOOGLE search! RESEARCH! (I often like to check local affiliate news sites and newspaper sites for the location/person/event mentioned)
Use your COMMON SENSE and your BRAIN and you will be AOK!!

1 comment:

  1. Hey there! We have the same thought. I have all the social media accounts and go into google whenever I need something to know or search for. BUT, information given were sometimes not reliable so I made sure to check on several sites before jumping into conclusions. Anyway, I still have magazines and books for keeps sake 'cause websites could be hacked anytime. Information will be gone and so as your saved documents.