Lies on Facebook

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

24 February 2017

Facebook lies. Lies, lies and more lies. 

All too often Facebook lies. I’m not talking about the Facebook company. I’m speaking of the content.

If you read my blog at all then you know the world of alternative truths and made up news really rankles. This is not a criticism of the press, however. I think the press is our only hope from drowning in a murky sea of delusion.

The sad truth is that many have come to see Facebook as a news source. It’s easy, fast and full of opinions. Some of it passes as news to those that don’t bother to check it out.

How bad are Facebook lies?

Bad. Facebook is at its best a waste of time and at its worse misleading. Did you know that the average American spends over three hours a day on Facebook?  I am lying. The average is 40 minutes per day (according to Facebook). But without that disclaimer, the three hour a day bullshit would have been everywhere on the web. And many would rally to my cause. Citing the monumental waste of time and how Facebook lies.

A complete lie. No parasites in Dasani.

It is a photo of a glass eel

Some of the Facebook lies are silly.

Not all wrong or misleading facts are technically lies. Some are just mistakes. But we live in an Andy Warhol world. We may not be famous for 15 minutes but our stupid assertions will. Try it out. Say something totally made up on Facebook and see how many idiots repost it. Say something thoughtful and you and I might be the only ones who read it.

Here is an example.

A few days ago, a classmate of mine (a smart and perceptive person) reposted a story on Facebook. On the surface, it seems innocuous. Just a Facebook re-tweet of a public service sort of announcement. The post was complete with photographs. And a supposed news source. The problem. It was a damaging lie.

Recall for Dasani water….found clear parasites, ummm gross!

I don’t claim to be an expert in ferreting out lies and misinformation. Had it not been for the photo I might have thought it true. But earlier in the week, my scuba buddy had posted a video about Glass Eels.

These are interesting fish who have transparent bodies and tiny organs. What Hans (my scuba guru) did not know was that glass eels are also a parasite found in Dasani water.

That’s right. The Dasani story had the exact same photo of the exact same glass eel that Han’s had shared. Only the lie post said it was a parasite found in the water bottle.

“The average American spends three hours a day on Facebook. OK, so I lied a bit.”

Is this Facebook lie important?

Kinda. Not everyone checks with Hans on glass eels. I’m sure it hurt the Dasani business a bit. I’m not crying too heavily over it because I would like to see us use fewer plastic bottles.

But this sort of stuff is everywhere. And we repost and share like automations. Human nature says that the more obscure and the more unbelievable the more we enjoy telling others.

Human beings are gossips. And we ALL love gossip.

Pope Francis endorsing Donald Trump was all over Facebook

A complete lie. Never happened.

Bigger issues

Facebook is here to stay. But Facebook lies COULD be temporary. We need to all become Walter Cronkite and try our best to vet anything we post. Facebook, from what I hear, is trying to reign in the lies and misinformation. Of course, that could be a lie. I have no way of knowing.

Just remember. Pope Francis endorsed Donald Trump. Right…

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