Tuesday, June 10, 2014

But I saw it on the internet........ it's obviously real.

The story broke on May 21 2014 and quickly raced towards fame by going viral in the social media.  What story was that because I am sure I totally missed it?  The National Report's article titled "Solar Panels Drain the Sun's Energy, experts say" was posted  and very elegantly explained how the Wyoming Institute of Technology had been commissioned by Halliburton Corp in August of 2011 to conduct this study.  Evidently it made enough of an impression on the common folk who believe everything that is printed on the internet that it quickly went viral.

Don't feel that you alone were one of those sucked in by the need to share the terrifying news of the danger presented by solar panels......... the Knight Science Journalism at MIT even reprinted the story before it was notified that the National Report is a news and political satire web publication.  A what?????  That's correct.......... satire: the use of humor, irony, exaggeration or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.  By May 25, most reputable news sources were shouting that the article was definitely a fake but the viral bus just kept rolling.  It seems that it is far easier to click "share" than it is to actually try and research the validity of a claim these days.

It seems that it is even easier these days to throw fake pictures on the viral bus, perhaps because we are becoming a nation that doesn't want to tax our brains with the complicated task of reading, though some of the recent fakes have been accompanied by the printed word in short, heart-rending story versions.  The News Hound recently published a short article stating the scientists at John Moore University have cloned a baby Apatosaurus nicknamed "Spot" but that too is a satirical news page and the accompanying photo is most likely a newborn Macropod.

Following the bombing last year at the Boston Marathon, there were at least five different stories that not only went viral but were also absolutely fake.  Some of that can be blamed on how soon after the event they were published but the blame can also be placed on how desperate some people seem to be when it comes to getting the behind the scenes :news: out there for the world to see.  Another recent viral picture touring on the world-wide bus is captioned "In Syria, sleeping with his parents"

The photograph is very real but the caption that helped it jump on the viral bus is fake.  The photo was taken by Abdul Aziz al-Otaibi as part of an art project in Saudi Arabia and was meant to shown a child's love for his parents and has no link to any actual events in Syria.

Lastly........... has no one ever heard of the wonders of Photoshop?  I don't even use it but I do know what can be created with it.  It seems that there are too many people who don't and continue to post and share pictures too unreal to be true without question.

Do you really think that if scientists had managed to breed a black lion, you would be able to search for an actual article that explained the phenomenon?  I wonder if this is a trend towards evolving into a mass of sheep who are willing to believe whatever has been shared through social media must be true......... I mean, I read it on the internet so it has to be true.  No one ever writes something that is not true........... right?

1 comment:

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