Consider this a heads up the next time that co-worker tells you there is a small town in Texas that was quarantined because of Ebola. That exact story has spent the last week spreading like wildfire across all of social media.
By the way, It Is Fake!
I recently had a conversation with family about an accident that happened at a theme park about an hour outside of where we live. I listened dumbfounded at the story of their wooden rollercoaster collapsing and killing several people. What a horrible accident! I've ridden that rollercoaster before.
The next day (because I am super curious) I wanted to read the story for myself and noticed it was from a "news" site I had never read. At this point I've trained myself to not believe it because I saw it on the internet. A couple Google searches later and I found out that empirenews.net is a fake news site. The entire episode was bogus.
How is anyone supposed to know what is real and what is satire or just plain fake news? News comes so fast and furious these days. Many people are doing their best already to use social media. They don't know about an entire industry budding up and making money from spreading fake news. The entire possibility seems ridiculous because it is ridiculous. Unfortunately, this is a reality with no great solution for stopping.
Consider yourself warned.
Next time your friend mentions something, your phone buzzes with a local news update or Facebook is blowing up with doom and gloom up and down the news feed; You can make sure that you pass it through a filter first.
Pro Tip: Snopes is a great place for a quick fact check.
To read more on this topic follow this link to the verge.