Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves
Dear “friends” who sent me this (or a similar) message:
Please tell all the contacts in your messenger list not to accept Jayden K. Smith friendship request. He is a hacker and has the system connected to your Facebook account. If one of your contacts accepts it, you will also be hacked, so make sure that all your friends know it. Thanks. Forwarded as received.
I received more than a dozen messages like this one in the last couple of weeks from my so-called “Facebook friends.” While many of them came from online friends I’ve never met, a disturbing number of ’em came from actual friends from real life, friends I know are not stupid.
For the Record
Still, in my lifetime I’ve seen literally thousands of bogus messages forwarded to me by my so-called friends. So, for the record:
- Southwest Airlines isn’t giving away free tickets for liking their Facebook page.
- A lottery winner did not die after gold-plating his private parts.
- Nancy Pelosi’s daughter was not arrested for smuggling cocaine.
- Kid Rock isn’t dead yet.
- Chumlee from Pawn Stars isn’t dead yet, either.
- There is no new super-fuel that’s 1,693 times more powerful than gasoline.
- Researchers did not find a mummified, three-fingered alien in Peru.
- Bill Gates is not giving $5,000 to Facebook users no matter what they share or like.
Forwarding ridiculous messages without confirming their truthfulness makes you look dumb even if you’re not. I didn’t use to think you were stupid, but when you pass along this kind of garbage, I have to wonder. Which brings me to my reason for writing today…
It took me less than one minute to verify that message was bogus. You obviously don’t know how to verify the truthfulness (or falsehood) of a message, so please allow me to help.
What to Do
Next time, visit www.snopes.com—the oldest and largest fact-checking site on the Internet—before you do something stupid. That’s usually the fastest way to debunk (or bunk) an urban legend.
In this case, I visited snopes.com and typed “Jayden K. Smith” into its search field. That’s all it took to discover that this particular message is not only false, it’s #1 on the Snopes list of the top 50 questionable items going around the Internet today:
Think Before You Click!
The point I’m making is that it would behoove you to visit www.snopes.com before you hit Send or Forward next time.
Think before you click. Investing a few seconds in research at snopes.com could very well keep people from mistaking you for a moron. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but wasting my time with falsehoods you could easily have debunked is my pet peeve.
One last thing: If you are among the guilty, consider apologizing to your friends for wasting their time. (Or, don’t and let them continue to think you’re an idiot.)