The Internet is more revolutionary than the printing press. While it has brought to our fingertips new levels of information and new ideas, it is also at times a breeding ground for gossip, misinformation, conjecture and all out lies. Here are some of the memes and false reports some of you may have erroneously believed this year.
BEN CARSON SUPPORTS SLAVERY
That’s right. Earlier this year a false quote indicating a black candidate for president actually supported slavery went viral. This wouldn’t be the first time a false quote next to a photo of a politician would be taken as gospel.
BELGIUM REQUIRES TEXTING WHILE DRIVING
You also saw a clearly marked advertisement and took it as gospel. The video is an obvious public safety campaign, but that didn’t stop click-baiters and bottom feeders from trying to convince you that Belgium really requires drivers to be able to text while driving in order to pass a driving test. The video itself was from 2012, but was re-packaged with a new headline.
YOU THOUGHT A CATHOLIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE CALLED THE POPE AN ATHIEST
Really, Internet? Does that even sound right? Do you even think about these things before you share them? When the Pope visited in September, Chris Christie got heat for calling the Pope an atheist. Did Christie publically disagree with the Pope? Yes. Did he call him an atheist? No.
FACEBOOK’S LAWYERS CAN BE OUTSMARTED BY YOUR STATUS UPDATES
For the nine-millionth time, you circulated a legalese laden status update purporting to protect your data and privacy from Facebook’s terms of service and advertising machine. For what I’m sure won’t be the last time: By using Facebook, you are agreeing to their terms of service. Nothing you post on the service voids that contract.
A DEMOCRATIC SENATOR SAID PRO-LIFE VIEWS AREN’T PROTECTED BY THE FIRST AMENDMENT
Someone took an already fairly convoluted quote about gay marriage, changed the topic to abortion, and attributed it to democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin. Not only is the quote altered, it only slightly resembles the point she was attempting to convey. The original quote is inarticulate, but it isn’t anti-free speech and it isn’t about abortion.
YOU THOUGHT DONALD TRUMP CALLED REPUBLICAN VOTERS DUMB
Admittedly, this wouldn’t be the most outrageous thing Trump has said since entering the presidential race, but the idea that a leading candidate who’s sole mission is to get members of his party to vote for him in a primary would say something so reckless about voters in his party should at least give someone pause before re-posting the meme.
The fact that these instances went viral says we have a long way to go to build a society that values accurate information over misinformation.Click here for reuse options!
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