Required Reading if you ever want to email me

Seriously. Read this.

Come to think of it, I should probably print this and hand it out to certain members of my family, and stand over them to make sure they read it. And then show them the clue-by-four I’ll smack them with if they violate the rules set therein.!5798413/how-to-identify-and-avoid-spreading-misinformation-myths-and-urban-legends-on-the-internet

How to Identify and Avoid Spreading Misinformation, Myths, and Urban Legends on the Internet

Even if you’ve never embarrassed yourself by unknowingly spreading an urban legend as fact to friends and family or, say, retweeting a fake quote by Martin Luther King, Jr after Osama bin Laden’s death, you’ve at least been on the receiving end of one of these misinformed messages. Next time an email, tweet, or link seems a little fishy, here’s how to spot it before your itchy trigger finger sends it to all your friends or followers. (Send this one to your forward- or retweet-happy family and friends.)

A little timely backstory: Osama bin Laden’s death resulted in millions of bin Laden-related tweets every hour on Twitter. Thousands of those related tweets included a nice quote attributed to Martin Luther King, Jr that, unfortunately, had never been uttered by King. The story of how an innocent Facebook update turned into a widespread fake quotation is an interesting read, but more importantly, for those of us who prefer to avoid internet egg on our faces: How do you identify and avoid spreading misinformation, myths, and urban legends on the internet?

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