Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Snopin' out the truth

Much like when Prometheus gave fire to humanity (and this really happened and I want it taught in science class) and we realized its potential for both good and evil - the Internet is definitely one of those mixed blessings as well.

On one hand, it can be a tool to spread all sorts of false and downright crazy rumors. On the other, there are plenty of places to find out whether it's all true or not. Of course, you have to be willing to seek out these sorts of sites, otherwise you'll believe that a shark was about to eat a helicopter and there's a little boy who will get a nickel for every email you forward.

Just today, I got an email from a coworker that goes as follows:

This is the list of books Palin tried to have banned. As many of you will notice it is a hit parade for book burners.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden...
Etc. Etc. Etc. - you get the point - and it even included typical banned fare like the Harry Potter books.

Now, I've heard the rumors of Palin having tried to ban some books while she was a mayor, but there doesn't seem to be any concrete information coming up about it. Personally, I wish that the media would ask - because if it is much ado about nothing, then I'd at least like to know so. I fear that this woman might be a religious extremist, and when it comes to violating the first amendment, I get concerned.

So, when I got this email, I figured that this was the smoking gun. I was even all set to send it to some conservatives that I know. However, even though I don't care for Palin, there's one thing that I dislike even moreso: inaccuracy.

With a little internet searching, I found out that my favorite debunking site had already taken care of this. Turns out, it's completely bogus. As much as I'd like to discourage people from voting for McCain/Palin, I'm not going to go around spreading lies to do so.

Anyway, do a little fact-checking before you spread those rumors and email forwards, okay?

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