Be Prepared? Meh
It’s that time of year again. Time to make sure the snowblower is in working order for the coming winter. I told of how the snowblower started after one pull of the cord, but that one pull also led to some frustration.
Fake News On Social Media
Mainly pertaining to Facebook, because that’s the only social media platform I’m on, but I am aware the other platforms are rife with fake news. There are satire sites and propaganda sites that post any kind of bullshit they like and people are far too willing to assume the stories are true.
As a skeptic, I try to remain aware of my own biases when consuming news items. I try to make sure a story has been verified. Is it being reported on by a legitimate news source? CNN, FOX, ABC, CBS, NBC, USAToday, WSJ, Yahoo News, etc. are what I consider legit. Sure, they may have a bias, but they are charged with gathering and reporting the news as factual as possible. Fox may choose to not cover or emphasize the same stories CNN does, but they still need to find the facts.
Snopes.com is an excellent source for checking on the validity of a story. As is FactCheck.org. Yes, I know people accuse those sites as being biased, but they do the research and cite their sources.
Some folks are spreading the Facebook post that alleges an ambulance had to change its route to a hospital due to an anti-Trump protest. The route change was claimed by the Facebook post to have added 45 minutes to the emergency commute. That delay led to the death of a man with a four year old daughter.
No legit news sites were reporting this story. The source was just a Facebook post making a claim. It gave no identifiable details, such as where this happened, which hospital, name of the dead man, etc. But the claim was enough for blogs and pro-Trump/anti-Obama sites to jump all over it. Snopes lists the story as unproven.
People need to learn to verify such stories before posting on social media. If a legit news source is reporting it, it is pretty safe to share the story, although you should still read the whole article and check out any links provided. If it’s a blog or some satire or propaganda site, you need to search for the original article. An read it!
If a headline sounds a little too good to be true, checking Snopes or FactCheck is a good idea.
This graphic will help you keep in mind how to vet a story before posting it.
Also, the burden of proof on any claim is on the part of the person implying the claim is true by sharing it on social media. It is not on the person calling the claim fake.
Below is the video demonstrating the need to vet claims made on social media I mentioned on the show. It shows how as one person is attempting to verify a claim, while another has posted the story to social media and the claim is spreading across the internet like wildfire.
As Mark Twain is said to have said, “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”
I Like To Say I Told You So, Because I Told You So
Turning to the world of sports, I took a little time to gloat about how I was right to caution people against getting too excited about the MN Vikings 5 – 0 start to this football season. I mentioned it on the show a few weeks ago and I blogged about it. I reminded people that the Vikes always find a way to disappoint and that folks ought to be more reluctant about jumping on their bandwagon.
Well, I was right. After that talk and blog the team from the North Star state went on a four game losing streak. And through most of it, they looked pathetic, even the defense which had been the best part of the team.
My timing for gloating about being right was also good, because the Vikes managed to break that losing streak and defeat the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
I still caution against any bandwagon boarding.
Movie Recommendation: John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982)
I just watched it again this past week. I think it still holds up and is a lot of intense and gruesome fun. I blogged about it on Warehouse Find, the official blog of Nostalgia Zone.
Music heard on the show…
Closing song: ‘Angler’s Treble Hook’ by $5 Fiddle
That’s it! See you next Saturday night for Dimland Radio 11 Central, midnight Eastern on www.ztalkradio.com you can also download my show from the z talk show archives page. You can email your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
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