Advanced search

To wonder why people repeat myths on the internet without checking

(169 Posts)
hackmum Tue 24-Nov-15 18:01:43

Someone on Facebook has just posted a link to the story about Zouheir, the "Muslim" who supposedly confronted a suicide bomber outside the Stade de France last week.

Except it's not true, as this BBC story explains:

It takes a matter of seconds to check something like this. Yet the Muslim Council of Britain repeated the story in its advert condemning the attacks.

Obviously it's not just this story - it happens all the time. Another friend just posted something purporting to be a speech to schoolchildren by Bill Gates, except it isn't. But I don't get why. It's so easy to check stuff now - just a few seconds of googling.

So why do otherwise intelligent people (and both the people I've just cited are highly educated) not check? Why don't they learn from experience? Is it that they're just not that bothered whether something is true or not?

Can anyone enlighten me?

DisappointedOne Tue 24-Nov-15 18:14:42

Drives me fuckin mental.

Maudofallhopefulness Tue 24-Nov-15 18:17:26

It pays to check Snopes before Facebook sharing rubbish. Loads of people just click and share.

iklboo Tue 24-Nov-15 18:22:00

My mother's always doing this. Especially all those urban myth warnings. She sent me the one about the abandoned child car seat on a country road to 'trap, kidnap, rape & kill lone female drivers'. She pleaded with me not to fall for it.

Fine. But I don't, can't & never will drive a car - never mind down a country lane. And if I did I'd never stop for an abandoned car seat!

hackmum Tue 24-Nov-15 18:24:00

Yes, iklboo, it's weird, isn't it? Particularly as common sense should tell her that there have been precisely no cases of women being raped and killed in this way, otherwise it would have been in the news.

Helmetbymidnight Tue 24-Nov-15 18:26:16

Because they are so concerned to make/win a point that accuracy fallsby the wayside?


It's even worse when the untruth is headed with ' I bet you won't know this' etc etc.

strawberryandaflake Tue 24-Nov-15 18:29:01

Argh! So irritating!!

WMittens Tue 24-Nov-15 18:29:12

So why do otherwise intelligent people (and both the people I've just cited are highly educated) not check?

The UN Broadband Commission can't manage it, I don't think there's much hope.

This has been a truth of the internet for getting on for 30 years. You know that 'fact' that on average you swallow 3 spiders a year while you're asleep? That was a made-up piece of trivia (among others) as part of a social experiment to illustrate how people believe and disseminate what they read on the internet (or email, in that case). That's had such a life that it's still being spread now, and that was created in the early '90s.

AgentProvocateur Tue 24-Nov-15 18:30:52

Because people are generally thicker and more gullible these days.

Egosumquisum Tue 24-Nov-15 18:33:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KeepOnMoving1 Tue 24-Nov-15 18:38:12

I see it on here a lot too, people throw out random 'advice' as fact especially when advising of legal stuff.

bigkidsdidit Tue 24-Nov-15 18:39:52

See every 'bizarre baby name' thread ever where st least one person claims to know a Ladasha, written 'La-a'.


fuzzpig Tue 24-Nov-15 18:41:02

I loved this one that I saw on my newsfeed

DisappointedOne Tue 24-Nov-15 18:44:41

I'm having a row about this in FB now. Typical twisted post ignoring fact and using a tragic event to push an islamaphobic message.

Having pointed out the inaccuracies and a link to the true story, response is just "I only shared it, I didn't write it". angry

WickedWax Tue 24-Nov-15 18:45:38

So irritating.

Likewise the "this week is downs syndrome/autism/cancer awareness week, if you don't share this post then you obviously don't care". I have to refrain from replying - No, YOU obviously don't care, certainly not enough to check whether the tripe that you're posting is factual.

BlueJug Tue 24-Nov-15 18:47:11

I rarely use Facebook but I saw the Muslim Guard story. Someone posted to "counteract racism". I did google it and it came up in the DM and several other places so I admit I believed it. Stupid of me. I see that now. Like many people I was upset; the news was vague and there were a lot of unconfirmed stories - it was easy to believe amidst all the other stories of those events.

I do check some things but not all.

These drive me up the bloody wall.

There was an entertaining row on my friends Facebook page around Remembrance Day.

She'd posted a photo of the abandoned bike against a tree 'by a man who went to war and never came back' and the bike sort of grew into the tree.

Person B ((respectfully) called bullshit and linked to snopes.

Well you'd think she was a direct descendant of Hitler! People went mental saying she was disrespect, ungrateful and she should generally just fuck off.

I didn't get involved but I felt very sorry for her.

The thing that annoys me most is that someone has actually sat at their computer and thought "I'll just put some words over the top of this and see how many shares it gets". Out and out lies.

The 'immigrant speech' apparently from the Australian PM is another popular one.

This one

hollinhurst84 Tue 24-Nov-15 18:52:46

Ring 112 instead of 999 and it tells them your location. Despite the fact that's my JOB, people still insist to me it's true

Beeswax2017 Tue 24-Nov-15 18:54:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Oysterbabe Tue 24-Nov-15 18:56:33


Wellthen Tue 24-Nov-15 18:59:23

I had a friend tell me, almost word for word, this story off snopes. It not only 'happened to a friend' but she has met the guy and they are still together. Why do people do this?! Why not just say 'I read this somewhere' or 'i heard from friend'? Then when it turns out to be untrue you're stupid but you're not a liar.

This seems to be happening more online - people post pictures captioned 'look what I just found' or 'guess what my friend did' which are blatantly lifted off google.

hobnobsaremyfave Tue 24-Nov-15 19:01:50

There is one doing the rounds here in Cardiff claiming that a Muslim man dropped his wallet and when a person (gender and age varies each time the story is told) runs to return the wallet he claims that he has to do a good turn to reward a good turn . He then says "stay out of Cardiff centre this Christmas "
Well I'm sure you can imagine the hysteria that sort of nonsense is whipping upbhmm

Junosmum Tue 24-Nov-15 19:02:27

It is sooo annoying! All it takes is a quick google. Egits!

Oysterbabe Tue 24-Nov-15 19:03:59

LOL hobnob, someone emailed that exact story around my work (except the location to be avoided was Cribbs Causeway) 10 years ago!! After 7/7.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now