How many of you repost articles because they claim to be urgent?

You’ve all seen them on Facebook; new virus alerts, claims that Bill Gates will give you money for relaying an e-mail, the gasoline boycotts for a single day. Do you or have you reposted any of them, though? If you do, you’re adding to the SPAM that already inundates our electronic world.

We understand that you want to be helpful and when you see something that seems legitimate and causes you concern, then you want to share it. Fair enough, but don’t be gullible. Whenever you see a piece of gossip or news that you want to share in your e-mail or on Facebook, check your facts, first. It doesn’t take long.
Common Sense

Today for example, there was a rumor flooding Facebook that Jackie Chan was dead. I immediately did a Google search to see if it was true. He’s too young to have passed away yet, but this could have happened during one of his stunts, so I wasn’t immediately ready to dismiss it. The first link I found indicated it was a hoax. I shared the truth in the thread claiming he was dead.

I felt like a superhero who saved the day!

Success Kid Okay, not really, but I did help to prevent furthering the spread of useless information. Not every piece of news is that easy, though. Sometimes you can’t find anything on Google immediately claiming the information you’ve just read is true or false. Some of it may be too vague. When that is the case, there are other sources to which you can turn. In fact, there are sites dedicated to this very purpose and here they are:

www.Snopes.com
www.HoaxBusters.com
www.ScamBusters.org

There are others, but simply searching on those sites often provides you with the results you need. In fact, even if I know a particular article is bogus, I will often go to these sites and find the article disproving the story, grab the link and post it in the thread, just so that others won’t continue to spread the misinformation, even if I already know the truth. In doing so, I also help spread knowledge of these hoax prevention websites. Knowledge is power.

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