Stop it people. Stop it now.  Accepting a Facebook friend request from Jaden K. Smith will not allow him to hack my account and the account of all my fiends. It is a hoax. I got warnings from six brilliant people. Why? When something supports our belief system, there is less of a chance we will challenge it.  Well maybe we should. The act of six well-meaning people unintentionally spreading falsehoods is accidental arson. The Facebook incident shows, people pass on messages as truth without fact checking. Why? The story came from a reliable source, it seemed reasonable and there was a sense of urgency around it. This is a moment to step back and see how this act, seemingly innocuous leads to mild hysteria and dangerous deflection which sadly happens often.

We’re so exhausted after sorting truth from fiction, important discussions never take place. Are you fueling an arson when you could be putting out the fire?  Before you post, send, include “facts” in a presentation, can you check for validity? Think of past events of accidental arson. Was the bad information just dismissed as a whatever, or justified with, well it could have been true? Was there valuable and productive information with the same theme that could have been spread instead? This week,  notice, are you an accidental arsonist.? With good intentions, are you spreading falsehoods? Chose what you spread, make a point, not a  fire.

 

 

 

Notes: Google is good for a general check and http://www.snopes.com – All the latest rumors, urban legends, myths and misinformation gathered together in one nifty list. are quick and easy ways to check information.