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Don't believe everything on the internet.

pinkboots.jpgYou spend a few years on the net, writing stories and linking stuff, and after a while you get to know the usual urban legends. A friend sends me that story about the stolen kidneys or the fish with a basketball in its mouth or that damned cookie recipe, and instead of explaining, I just send the relevant snopes link back. Yeah, I'm taking the wind out of their sails, but it's better than encouraging gullibility.

At the same time, if you are getting paid, you are desperate for content. Always on the lookout for something to link. You want to be early on it, so you jump on anything that look legitimate, sometimes without reading all the way to the end. Internet marketer Lyndon Antcliff knows that, and pwned a huge chunk of the net earlier this month with a story about a 13-year-old who stole his dad's credit card and hired two hookers to play Halo with him. The story made the front page of Digg and was broadcast on Fox News. It didn't matter that the original page had no source links, and no other outlet had the story. Yeah, it was all made up. Just to prove our gullibility. No, I didn't link it, but I might have if I weren't busy with something else. The lesson here is that no matter how experienced and cynical you are, you're not immune to ownage.

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4 Comments

I'm not trying to be cheeky, but I believe the basketball-in-the-catfish- mouth story is true.

http://www.snopes.com/photos/animals/catchfish.asp

said Johnny Wright on May 24, 2008 8:02 PM.

Yeah, it's true, but every time I get it in an email, it's a different location (usually local) and a different year. People love to make a story into something a bit more "special".

said Miss Cellania on May 25, 2008 12:36 AM.

Miss Cellania, I do the same thing..send the link for snopes right back to them. I feel like a bit of a party-pooper, but people should check this stuff before sending it out! I've gotten the marzipan babies so many times, its not funny..

said CindylovesScara on May 25, 2008 10:06 PM.

Yeah I have to agree on sending the snopes back to them (usually "reply to all" helps)

there is no point sending dissinformation around the web, there is enough crap out there already.

said Ash on May 25, 2008 10:08 PM.
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