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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Check the facts, please

I have a love/hate relationship with the internet....and with my television.  With the internet, I love how there is a lot of information at my fingertips and how I can "meet" and develop friendships with people across the globe.  But I don't like how people accept what they read on the internet as gospel truth without thinking about what is really being said, or questioning it, or finding out who wrote it, why, and what were their personal prejudices.

In the past, if you heard some of the outlandish things you read on the internet the number of people who would be exposed to it would be minimal and it would be a simple matter of squashing it and proving that the person who made such statements had holes in their logic or were putting falsehoods about for their own purposes.

However, today inflamatory items, blatant untruths, and misinformation get spread about quickly and thickly across the internet....and they continue to circulate for years no matter how many people try to get the cat back in the bag.

Living in Ohio, the political advertisements are fast and furious...as one of the states viewed as a political plum, we literally get wallpapered with TV advertisements, robo calls and other forms of advertisement.  Frankly, it makes me sick.  Especially when advertisements leave things out, make insinuations or ascribe things as being a fault or a flaw when they are not putting out all the facts or are just making associations which logically cannot be made.

It also makes me disgusted that a state like Ohio can have so much more political weight than other states in which I have lived...but that's fodder for another post.

So what's a bear to do?  Well, for general emails and such, I recommend checking out snopes, the Urban Legend site...Some people  claim that the research and articles shown have a particular political bent and usually they point to the advertisements at the side bar...however, this isn't the case...the advertisements are based on what you search on...it's one of those wonders where computers track where you've been and put up ads based on that information.

For political advertisements and statements, I recommend two sites, although there may be more.  One is PolitiFact, which is a Pulitzer Prize winning site sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times.  I particularly get a chuckle out of their "Truth-o-Meter."  Another site is run by the Annenburg Center for Public Policy called FactCheck.org.    While I am sure that some people would say that they have one bent or another, it seems like they are pretty even handed about what they bring up and how they investigate it.

These are a couple of tools for you to look into things and draw your own conclusions...mostly giving you background and showing when the emperor has no clothes.  This is a heck of a lot better than living with me yelling at the television, radio and computer screen.  At least my husband would think so.....

2 comments:

Dallis said...

The possession of facts doesn't stop me from ranting. It merely changes the wording of the rants. My personal pet peeves are the half truths and those who take things out of context!

Lisa Broberg Quintana said...

Absolutely, Dal! That's what gets me snarling at the television screen....I still like to verify that I am correct....I guess that's the historian in me. Or maybe grad school habits run deep.