Oh, the irony...

The irony of the situation has not escaped me, I promise you... If you are reading this, it is most likely as a result of the very thing I am trying to stop. For the last 20 years (yes the internet has been around that long) I have, for some reason, decided that it is my mission to try and keep people safe in this cybernetic world we all now inhabit.

Back in the early nineties it was actually a pretty easy job as most people online at that time were reasonably tech savvy and could spot a hoax when it appeared.

Please don't get me wrong. I don't mean to infer that people who use the internet now are not tech savvy, but that they do, in fact, share something with even the earliest of adopters. The history of spam can be traced back to it's first appearance in Python scripts... And yes, I mean Monty Python, not the programming language. I DON'T LIKE SPAM is a phrase that everyone should remember. Spam is, at its basest form, unsolicited messages. It grew from that to being messages that tried to elicit money from you, and made the inevitable leap to social networking once that became the pervasive form of communication over email.

I'm not going to debate what is the predominant form of communication on the planet as that is fluid and beyond the scope of what I want to say.

So, after what seems like an inordinately long introduction, I arrive at my point, which is this...

For, god only knows what reason, some people find amusement in spreading disinformation about technology. Not only do they create the disinformation, but they propagate it by attempting to sound sincere and knowledgeable about whatever they are debunking. This occurs to the point that people accept what is being said and pass the information on without checking its validity for themselves.

I like to call this the Spontaneous Anonymous Forwarding Syndrome (or SAFS). By which I mean that people pass on official sounding information as fact to all people in their social circle without ever checking its validity.

I would urge everyone who reads this, and indeed everyone on the planet, to check their information before posting it to all and sundry.

Whenever someone says that facebook, google or whomever is attempting to do something that you may not approve of, please take a moment to check the text of the message against something like hoaxslayer, as it is generally either untrue or grossly exaggerated.

Sorry.. I've been drinking and this all may be coming across as a bit of a rant, but please... All I'm asking is that you break the cycle and actually check facts before you post something... is that really too much to ask?