Friday, July 25, 2008

The Snopes Litmus Test

Where would I be without Snopes? I get a kazillion emails a day, forwarded by friends and family who "just received this from (fill in the blank friend/aunt/cousin/co-worker) so it has to be TRUE." I always do a Snopes-test to see if the major/mind-boggling/unbelievable/heart-tugging news has any validity.

Snopes must stay very, very busy.

My latest favorites have been:

The Case of the Misspelled Wal-Mart Cake (sent just last week as if it happened to a neighbor, but this started back in 1992!!!!).

Poor CPT Jeffrey S. Porter, reporting to family about a visit by Barack Obama to Afghanistan, with purported snubbing, etc. Didn't happen. This one came from a friend who got it from another friend, etc. etc.

And, of course, there's the chronically lost girl, Ashley Flores, who parents are pleading for help finding her via email. I get this one about every few months.

Believe me, I'm not smug about this. I've been caught in my share of urban legends. It's so embarrassing to be taken in. But that's the insidious nature of email. Before you know it, you've contributed to the story and given it even longer life.

Weird, huh.

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