Guess what time it is! That's right! Rant time!
Recently I have noticed a number of pretty obvious hoaxes spreading around Facebook. Usually some sort of terrifying story with warnings that you need to share it with all your friends, because everyone shares the stupid jokes, and they won't spread the word about this horrible danger and the dreadful tragedy that will befall all of your friends and family should they be uninformed and fall victim to this terrible misfortune that you were warned about, but were heartless enough to keep to yourself.
Really? Does no one know how to research anything any more? You're on the internet for pete's sake! The single largest repository of human knowledge on the planet, and you still just blindly click the "Share" button without asking yourself, "Is this real?"
Even if the story includes photographic evidence, it is still quite likely a fake. Anyone with rudimentary knowledge of Photoshop can cobble together a picture of a puppy-sized spider hiding behind a garbage can waiting for their next victim. Anyone with a printer can print out something they typed up about drug dealers marketing candy flavored drugs to children, and photograph the words to make it look like they clipped the story out of a newspaper. Just because you read a story on the internet doesn't make it true!
When people spread these fake stories without finding out if they are real, all they are doing is helping the trolls with their fear mongering. The people of Facebook spread this garbage much farther than any one troll could ever hope to by himself, and when you click the share button you're just contributing to the dumbing down of humanity. Pretty soon their will be no sane people left. Everyone will by reduced to a quivering bundle of fear, curled up under their desks in the fetal position whimpering because they're afraid that Obama's coming to micro-chip them, or that gang members are putting deadly drugs on payphone buttons, while drug addicts are hiding HIV positive needles in the coin slots. None of these stories are true, but everyone keeps sharing them.
The next time you see a "Friendly" warning on Facebook, or in your e-mail, ask yourself "Is this true?" If it sounds like something that other people should know about, then take two seconds and look it up! There are so many sites that are dedicated to doing the hard research for you. Snopes.com is the most trusted and well known one, but there is also urbanlegends.about.com and many others! There is no excuse for passing on fake stories without finding out if they are real, or if they were just made up by some 40-year-old loser with no life who lives in his mom's basement and gets his kicks by scaring everyone.