“How to Debunk Internet Myths & Fact Check Political Disinformation”

Last week, we received another one of those Internet myths; this one allegedly recites the origins of certain statements. Allegedly, these ditties came into use in the 1500s. A lot of the emails we, and probably you, receive are forwarded and re-forwarded. While they are intriguing and may even seem believable, we encourage everyone to understand that much of what is found on the Internet is not fact-checked.

“The media and the Internet can overwhelm one with information. Some of the information includes Internet hoaxes, and some of the media information includes political disinformation as well. Learning how to debunk Internet myths and how to fact check for political bias is essential in dealing with the Internet and media blitz.

About Internet hoaxes

“People are barraged everyday with Internet rumors and hoaxes. What used to be called urban legends, second-hand stories passed on orally about mishaps that could have happened but cannot be verified, are now being spread through email and over the Internet. This new style of myth-spreading can be appropriately referred to as Netlore. The Internet is a perfect platform for perpetrating hoaxes and spreading Netlore and myths.

“Email hoaxes especially spread false information by encouraging recipients to forward false information, via chain letter style, to others. One can spot email hoaxes by looking for certain telling signs, such as a phrases reading, “Forward this to everyone you know.” or “This is not a hoax.” One should be on the alert for use of exaggerated language, exclamation points, and capital letters. One should check for references and for debunking of the email.” (SOURCE: http://melissa-ridenour.suite101.com/debunking-internet-rumors-and-political-lies-a158511)

The above site includes a few reliable and trustworthy sites to assist in your fact-checking process.

For government and political fact-checking

  1. http://www.factcheck.org/
  2. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker
  3. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/

For other Internet “forwards” and “urban legends”

  1. http://urbanlegends.about.com/
  2. http://www.hoax-slayer.com/
  3. http://snopes.com/

We favor snopes.com  as our first-source to check when we get these emails.

Here are some “claimed” and “purported truths” from this email we received:

” … brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odour.”

“Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.”

” … “dirt poor”

” Bring home the bacon.”

Snopes.com says.

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