Google is Your Friend

I like to fact check. It’s amazing the sorts of stuff posted on Facebook and elsewhere (generally memes) that is just… wrong. Pretty much if it seems over the top or shocking it probably isn’t correct. If it’s a founding father quote that sounds modern and soundbitish it is probably inaccurate. I’ve found these incorrect memes come from all sides. There are just as many fake George W. Bush and Donald Trump quotes as there are Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton ones. Sometimes the quotes or stories are correct (and I’ll confirm they are, too).

But you never know just by reading so I fact check. I think I annoy a lot of my friends because of it, actually. So many seem to want to cling to what they’ve read being the truth even after I’ve provided information that it is wrong. I’ve even had people say something like, “But it sounds like it could be correct!” and the truth is, it usually does. The thing is sounding like something is correct does not make it actually correct.

I’ve even had people message me to ask me to fact check things for them. I am happy to do it. Really I am doing nothing more than a few minutes of google searching. Anyone can do it. Before posting a meme or story or whatever that sounds right but you aren’t sure, put the exact words and who it was supposedly said by or where or whatever other information will give you the results you want (sometimes you have to try a few different search terms) in the google search bar. Go through the links until you can find something official confirming or denying it (for example, there’s been one going around about how in a TimeAsia interview the guy who created Pokemon said he wanted to make something evil to get back at his Christian parents, with quotes supposedly from the interview – the thing is it is not true – it was actually made because he liked bugs – and that can be found on-line in the actual TimeAsia interview transcript).

Be careful of places like The Onion or other satire news sources. Some of them don’t tell you they are not actual news and others bury the information in the fine print. If there is only one news source of whatever you are posting, odds are it is one of the satire sites. Always remember: Google is your friend!

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