Today I learned quite a bit from Facebook. According to posts by my often-distant Facebook “friends,” five celebrities died, 300 other individuals contracted the Ebola virus and President Barrack Obama was impeached twice.
That’s what a quick browse through my timeline told me anyhow.
The funny thing is, in just about half the time that it took me to read one of the aforementioned articles, I proved all of them false. My methodology was simple, really. I did a quick internet search using Google on whatever these audacious stories claimed, and I could very easily find information that confirmed that these stories were hoaxes.
Why then, were they posted to begin with?
To be completely honest, I couldn’t come up with a reasonable answer. What I did decide, though, is that the average Facebook-using American is easily tricked into sharing false content on the internet without first fact-checking said information.
Whether this is the result of an attempt at monetary advancement, political fueling or fear mongering, it is bad news for everyone. These posts drive the ignorance of the American public. And public ignorance is very dangerous.
Seriously, there is absolutely nothing gained by furthering ignorance and manufacturing sensationalism for fellow internet users. Not only does it make the person posting it look bad, it causes the hurling of unneeded emotions and drama among those surfing the web.
Take, for instance, a recent story I saw about high-ranking officials in the White House that are being charged by Egypt for having deep ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, a violent Islamist group that has had rough relations with the Egyptian government since the group’s inception.
As soon as this story was posted online, people began commenting in favor or against the article, and the arguments became very heated. Names were called, slurs were thrown and it was not a good time.
Yes, otherwise kindhearted Americans were at each other’s throats because of a lie, and that lie was spread by an individual that I’m sure had the purest intentions. He or she probably just wanted to show the rest of the world the terrible things that those on the other side of the political spectrum were capable of.
After all was said and done though, the posting of this story did nothing but start unneeded arguments and reflect poorly on the intelligence and, in turn, the viewpoints of the original poster, which is probably the exact opposite effect that he or she had wished to have in sharing the false article.
So, maybe a quick fact check is in order before posting that article about the kindergarten class in Kentucky that all died of Ebola or the article on the president’s recent associations with the Muslim Brotherhood. The pride you save may be your own.
Fictionalized stories posing as fact in order to push an agenda of one sort or another work only as dividers, and they often detract from the importance of the real events occurring around the world at any given point.
And, Christians, even though lies fueled by ignorance are not necessarily sins, per se, they are certainly obnoxious.