Snopes is your friend but I might not be for much longer

JILLIAN ALLISON-AITKEN
Last updated 10:19 04/12/2012

Why is it that some seemingly intelligent people lose all ability to think for themselves when they become connected to the interwebs?

First, it was the silly emails saying Microsoft would pay us every time we forwarded the message, or promises of wealth and happiness if we forwarded some message on to 78 of our closest friends (and menacing hints of the nasty consequences inflicted on others who didn't comply) but I could sort of ignore those by deleting them as soon as they hit my inbox.

Now, it's Facebook: we're bombarded with stupid "facts" that are shared willy-nilly without any effort to check their veracity (such as the current "how to survive a heart attack alone", which was disproved years ago) or stolen images of sick children claiming they have some rare disease and asking you to "like". Why? I don't know. But it's ridiculous: what is clicking on a link going to do? Create a miracle cure for the child who may or may not be suffering from the disease mentioned in the link?

Oh, and then there's the "Jesus loves me, share this link" posts. Because I'm sure the son of God is busy updating his Facebook status: "Dad says he's cross with me. LOL"

The latest Facebook bandwagon seems to be the copyright thing, where everyone is posting a copyright notice that means nothing.

Snopes is your friend, so use it before you bug everyone else online and risk being "unfriended" on Facebook (I have a shortlist of friends who are about to go because of the incessant game and "like this to appease God/cure this sick child/bring world peace" requests despite being asked to stop.

Besides, the copyright thing is moot: when you signed up for Facebook you gave up the rights to your first-born to Mark Zuckerberg. You did read the terms and conditions, didn't you?

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