|Is this picture real? Nope, no matter how many times you share it...|
It used to be way way back when I was a young female pup, you walked over to your television, turned it on, and turned the dial very slowly until your father found something he wanted to watch. Usually, it was the news. Whether local or national, a news station had the job, nay the duty, to provide us lowly folk with current events so that we could at least pretend to be part of the human race.
Today, a lot of people don't even watch the news on televisions. They stream it on their computers. But this does not mean that news sources no longer have the duty to provide us with accurate news stories, both local and national. But somehow, that duty seems to have fallen by the wayside. You see, the news itself is apparently too boring for us normal people. At least major news sources seem to believe this to be true.
|No, seriously, this is my uncle's cousin's best friend...|
I am deadly serious about this. Now since I am still using Facebook, at least for right now, I am more than used to seeing stories that are total fabrications or were printed by a site that is satirical, but then is passed along as gospel truth. Although they seem that they should be easy to spot, people suck it up and pass it along endlessly.
Snopes, Facecrooks, and Hoax Slayer are just a few of the sites you can go to to check to see if the story you see on your feed is real or fake. People do not want to do that. In fact, people started getting very angry with me for pointing out when a story that is being passed around like wildfire is false. That is why I no longer have any real people on my news feed. I have my news sites, my comedy sites, and, of course, my horror sites.
I once tested to see how long it took from the time I saw a story on my feed, looked it up on one of the hoax sites to determine whether it was true or not, and post the results. I couldn't. My watch won't measure tenths of seconds. In fact, one person I know quite well made the comment that it must be nice to have so much free time to look up all these stories. Wow. In other words, this person was telling me that obviously I have nothing useful to contribute to society, and thus spend all my time pissing people off on Facebook for no good reason.
That person and I rarely speak now. I wonder why.
But there is a trend, and it is growing, which is very disturbing to me, that the so-called REAL news no longer can be trusted. Within the last few months, there have been more news stories retracted then I've seen happen in years worth of broadcasts. Am I exaggerating? Maybe a little.
One of my favorite sites, Cracked.com, actually has a regular listing of news stories that were spread everywhere, not just by Facebook people on their feeds, but by supposedly trustworthy internet news sources. All accepted at face value as gospel truth. All a bunch of bullshit.
It has become so bad that I no longer look at a story and assume that just because it was from a major news source, that it was properly researched and therefore accurate or even true. I look to Cracked.com or a hoax site for confirmation. How pitiful is that?
And now, for no reason whatsoever, this awesome Trent Reznor song parody...
Let's have a recent example. Now people love to pick on North Korea. It's a hot spot right now, and so everything that happens there is under scrutiny by the world. This was "trending" on March 26, 2014. It read basically that Kim Jong-Un was now requiring every grown man in North Korea to have the same haircut he currently wears.
This story was everywhere, whether it was an Internet source, or a television source. Even Conan O'Brien made a joke about it on his show (which was disgusting in itself and I won't repeat it) showing that everyone had accepted this little tidbit as gospel truth. But I was highly skeptical - this sounded way too stupid for words.
So I went on Google. Needless to say, but I will anyway, it took me under two minutes to find an answer. I'm going to go ahead and give you the source, since they seem to be, at least for this story, the only news site that actually checked this story out at all - The Washington Post. I read the article, and found that not only had they contacted people who had actually been in North Korea only several days before, but both Korean and English publications that report on the goings-on of NK. None of their sources saw anything to suggest that this story was accurate.
In one sentence they summed it up: Don't mistake a trend for an order. Longer version: Although North Korea DOES have a limited number of hairstyles that it allows for men and women, the hairstyle of Kim Jong-Un is NOT required for anyone. If there are men with that hairstyle, it is either because they want it that way, or it is their way of showing respect to their leader.
So, on my Facebook horror page, I put the link to this article, telling people they could file this story under bullshit. Now remember, my Facebook horror page has a whole 60 people on it (I have no idea why, when other horror pages with pictures of bunnies or old movie posters have thousands). But because the words North Korea and the name of their leader was in it, it was read almost 5,000 times. That's pretty sad. Especially since NONE of them 'liked' my page (whimpers pitifully).
This morning, March 27, 2014 when the top trending news now reported that North Korean men do not have to have this haircut (and they didn't treat it like a retraction or anything, they treated it as a new news story) I put a small paragraph on my horror page kind of saying 'Ha ha double dumbass on you'. Interestingly, only 14 people read that. I wonder why. And, I really would like to know how Conan O'Brien fared when the LGBT community heard his crude little joke last night.
So that's your lesson for today children. If something sounds a little wonky, check it out. Please. And Conan? I don't watch your show. I don't plan to start watching your show. But I do not envy what is going to happen to your ratings when the LGBT community hears what you consider is 'funny'.