“Today’s” web page has a well-considered feature dealing with the common situation of a friend on Facebook or e-mail who is spreading a web hoax, false rumor or bad information. It’s threshold query: do you have an obligation to correct it? The short answer is yes, but with caveats. You can’t spend all your time knocking down web nonsense, and there are some hoaxes that aren’t important enough to devote much time to killing.
A few years ago, a smart and canny lawyer friend circulated an e-mail advising people who were in the throes of a heart attack to intentionally cough, citing a source that had given this as a helpful survival tip. One of those on her distribution list immediately e-mailed her and everyone else alerting them that the advice was completely wrong, and potentially deadly. That timely correction may have saved a life.
It is also prudent and kind to be especially protective of seniors and others you know who may be new to the internet. That damned Nigerian prince and your friend who is stranded in a foreign country and needs money to get home still fool nice, gullible people after all the warnings and articles. It’s a jungle out there, and we all have a duty to warn each other when we see predators lurking.
The Today article, “Friends Spreading Internet Hoaxes?…” is here.
Source: Today (NBC)