Social Media Faux Pas

abe lincoln

I love this meme.  Why?  I am so tired of people mindlessly sharing random quotes from a supposed source that didn’t really say it.  So annoying because everyone just assumes that Maya Angelou, Coco Chanel and Nelson Mandela said every wise thing there is to be said.  Really?

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Note: Vladimir Putin DID NOT say this. Denzel Washington’s character made a similar comment in “Man on Fire” and it was somehow translated to Putin.  Google it.

This leads me to the comment that so many of us are so quick to believe everything we see online.  Yeah, some people may believe that Putin is a badass, you know, being ex-KGB, swimming in ice cold Siberian waters and fighting bears and what have you but think before you post, because the next thing you share may not be a harmless Putin quote.

To be honest, not only were the usual Facebook users duped by this post, Fox News also ended up making an apology for sharing the post. Lolol at Fox News, as usual.

Some of us aren’t even aware that there are satirical websites which post stories for the public’s amusement, like “The Onion” and closer to home, “Late O’Clock News”.  These sites are all about jokes.  No, Google is not buying Trinidad and Tobago.  I’ll admit that I had never heard of that website until I read the story and when a friend Whatsapped it to me, I did a double take but figured it had to be fake.  It was.

Finally, I hemmed and hawed all week on whether I wanted to add my voice to the arguments about whether the media has covered terrorist events around the world equally.  All I will say is that I was very much aware of the Garissa attacks in Kenya in April and the Beruit bombings which happened just prior to the Paris attacks.

How did I know?  I read news websites. A variety of them.  I watch more than CNN and MSNBC.  It seems to me that we just need to read.  Do our homework.  Stop allowing Facebook to be our news source.  This week a number of international journalists have defended their work and have written articles on the fact that these stories were in fact covered.  They say that people just didn’t read them.  They say that when the number of hits on a story were counted the attacks in the west are more frequently read than others.

Maybe stories from this side of the world or those who are closer or affiliated to us are read and watched more because we feel more of an affinity to the particular place.  Maybe we have relatives or friends in those places or maybe we’ve visited them.  Maybe we stupidly think we are better.  I don’t know.

All I know is that if we claim to be interested in world events and seriously care about the next bombing in one of the countries that we assume are accustomed to that activity, read and watch news sources other than the American mainstream.  If you are so inclined, share the correct stories. However, if you don’t, the Social Media Sharing Police will not arrest you and confiscate your device, so it’s also ok not to share.  You can also care without splashing it all over your page.

You support a cause because you want to, not because others are watching.

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