Hoaxes · Trolls

Telling the Truth – A Very Modern Problem

Anybody reading social media these days has almost certainly encountered incredible stories, breaking stories and other stories that are just too good to be true.


Today a story circulated that Tina Turner had a stroke in her mansion in Switzerland, here.  Shortly after, Oprah Winfrey called this story a hoax, here.

Also today a story circulated that the US’ Pledge of Allegiance was no longer being recited by school children at the start of the school day. A friend of mine, a conscientious parent with children having been taught in Loudon County, Virginia, South Maryland and now Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, challenged that and said her children always recited the Pledge of Allegiance.  I found a reference that the Pledge of Allegiance is not required by law in five states:  Vermont, Oklahoma, Hawaii, Iowa and Wyoming, here.  I found an article by the ACLU that schoolchildren are not required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in Oregon, here.  I pulled and cited a few more articles about the same topic and I realized the orginal reference, that schoolchildren are not reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, might be true in a localized area, but was certainly not true in most of the United States.

In other words, some news articles might be true in one city and not in another.

But then we come to my favorite conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones, of Infowars.com infamy.  A friend posted a story about the US Army training for martial law, here.  Now I have seen classified war plans, leftover from the 1960s, which call for such planning, but I haven’t heard about much training in that area.  I read the story and realized they were referring to a training facility in Ft. A.P. Hill, here in my Virginia, here.  This facility is for specialized training, and if I really stretch my credibility I could even say at times it might be for martial law circumstances.   But Alex Jones and gang consistently stir up the conspiracy theorists and say that the government is trying to take over. Take over?  Excuse me, but to do what?  In order to accomplish what?  Martial law?  Why?  I have a nephew who is a genius, and I hope he’s reading this, but he actually reads and believes the <expletive deleted> that they spew at Infowars.

And to my ‘friends’ who jump all over an article that I might post and (it feels like) they call me a stupid donkey for posting that, why not just say “not true” and post a link?

We’re all going to make mistakes in this new era with internet trolls.  Trolls are those insidious little cretins who posts hoaxs, like Tina Turner having a stroke, just to watch people squirm.  I can only imagine giving themselves an enema isn’t pleasure enough, or <insert really distasteful fantasy here>.

Bottom line, there are trolls out there who just are not nice people.  They spread untruth, rumors and perhaps make money by telling lies.  Be aware.  Call them out.

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