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Monday, January 21, 2013

Misquotes and Other little Annoyances

The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you never know if they are genuine. —Abraham Lincoln

Sigh.

I am really trying to get a grip on Facebook.  I'm still not sure why because honestly, my life was full and fine without it.

But there's a part of me that thinks perhaps it's my secret mission to spread actual information.

But I also realized that the same people who repost this crap don't actually seem to care.  Very rarely does anyone ever take it down after I comment "That's not true... here's a link to the actual comment/article/biography."

A few years ago I got this email about Mr. Rogers.  It was about prayer in school.  Since he was actually a minister, it might have been true.  It wasn't.  He wasn't a WWII vet.  His family even released a statement because with time, the original misquote had things added to it and it became boderline crazy.  Someone just made it up.

There was a quote a few weeks ago supposedly from Ben Stein about prayer in school (apparently a hot topic for the misquoters).  It was from "CBS Sunday Morning."  It's one of my favorite shows.  I record it every week.  I saw the piece when it aired so I knew the "quotes" weren't true.  What it was actually about was that he was not offended, as a Jew, when people wished him Merry Christmas.  He also was not offended by Happy Holidays.  He thought all these people who were offended by it should shut up.  The "quotes" weren't even remotely close to what he was trying to say. In fact, it was the opposite.

And then's there's the Warren Buffett supposed Congressional Act of 2011.  Mr. Buffett made a quick comment about how if Congress exceeded the debt by 3% of GDP, none of them should be eligible for re-election.  One sentence.  And he was trying to be flippant and funny.  The 15 paragraph essay that followed had nothing to do with him.  In fact, Mr. Buffett's opinion of many of the topics addressed in his supposed letter are the complete opposite.  Rather than argue the point- here he is talking about it.  I can't fake the video.  Well, I could, but I'm not that good!

Just a Regular Billionaire

And it goes on and on.

Now in real life, I usually just smile and let people live in their very confused little world of misinformation.  Sometimes I take the time to point out that no, that's not correct, let me show you the actual information.  But I don't think I realized how quickly bad information spreads until the dawn of Facebook and email.

Just because you see it online doesn't make it true.

Snopes.com is a great resource for verifying data. 

I just wish that before people posted facts or data, they actually checked them out.  It's one thing to post a link to an article that's an opinion piece.  Or post your own opinion.  We can disagree.  But when you are quoting people and it's not true-- well, um-- don't.

I know news organizations no longer check facts.  CNN horrified me awhile back when they started a report with "We can't confirm but..." Well, if you can't confirm it, why are you reporting it?  Isn't that some sort of breach of the journalist creed?  We had to confirm our stories in our junior high newspaper.  I expect the same of CNN. 

And while we're talking about posting stuff-- here's what I think about the posts on guns--

I don't have the answer to how to keep guns out of the hands of crazy people.  I don't.  You don't either.

I DO know that posting pictures of yourself holding your guns and holding a Gun Appreciation Day barely a month after 20 children were massacred is disrespectful to the families and friends who lost loved ones. 

Regardless of your views on gun control, your behavior is disgusting and insensitive to say the least.  I say that as a gun owner.  You give all of us a bad name.  If your child were killed by a drunk driver, would you want to see photos of people holding their beer and making toasts?  I think not. 

I just had to get that off my chest.

But back to the point at hand- don't quote stuff until you check it out. PLEASE.  And if someone points it out that it's not true, take it down.

Because it's really, really annoying and makes you look very, very stupid.







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