BREAKING NEWS: British Doctors Clone a Dinosaur
BREAKING NEWS: Bigfoot Shot and Killed
BREAKING NEWS: Elvis Photographed At Memphis Taco Bell
Ever seen stories like this on your Facebook feed? Ever posted stories like this on your Facebook feed? Ever fell for one of these stories on your Facebook feed? Well, stop it! We are way too far into the internet age for this to still be happening. There are always going to be news stories that turn out to be false, but use a little bit of common sense. If you took the effort to click on a link and read a story, why not take the extra five seconds to use this little known website called Google? It can be a neat tool, and I really see it going places in the future! This is why I am introducing the S.T.O.P. method when posting a news story on Facebook. It can save lives.
This should be an easy one to remember, due to the fact that it is the word itself. Refrain from a knee jerk posting. Stop and think about what you are doing. Go outside, breathe some fresh air, smoke a cigarette, go for a jog, whatever it takes to get your mind right.
“Is www.noozblog.wordpress.tumblr.reddit.com a legitimate source for information? How come I never heard of it? Could this possibly be fake?”
All of these are important questions to ask yourself when researching your sources. As a writer, myself, I know the important of sources. Think of yourself a top notch reporter. Doing this, think about what would happen if you broke a false story about how Aliens are headed toward your city and destruction is eminent. Would that be the right thing to do? No! It would not! Thinking about your actions is a great idea, for not only Facebook, but life itself! Doing so will save you a lot of stress in the long run!
This is when you can use that inner reporter that you always wanted to unleash. Do a little research. I gave you a little known industry secret called Google earlier as a launching pad, but Yahoo!, Bing, or any other search engine will work. If you really want to be fancy you can go to Snopes, a website that is designed specifically to confirm or debunk hoaxes, myths, and urban legends. Here is where your astute observation can kick in. Is the “news” only on some obscure blog post written by a 12-year-old boy from his parents attic, and nowhere else to be seen? I can not say this with 100% certainty, but his reports on the CIA’s plans to eradicate the east coast are more than likely not true.
But, what if the story checks out? Let me tell you!
(BONUS) O. Onion?
Is it the Onion? If the answer is yes, congratulations! It is satire! Share it if you think it’s funny, do not if you just think it is news!
P. Post it!
Did S, T, and O, all check out? Great! Post it! Now the world can know the actual news! You can share that puppy story that was so adorable! You can spare yourself from the embarrassment of being that guy or girl that bombards people with questionable news information! You’ll be happy, I’ll be happy, they’ll be happy, and the world will be a better place!
Facebook is a great way to connect to people. And while there are so many Facebook journalists out there, why not set yourself up as a modern day Paul Revere instead of the modern day boy who cried wolf?