Are Parody Sites Helping Spread Falsehoods?
I notice, from time-to-time, that some of my friends post links to parody sites on Facebook that are clearly spreading falsehoods.
If you have to ask what a “parody site” is, maybe you shouldn’t be sharing links at all. Parody sites are websites like “The Onion” and “Daily Currant” that post fake stories or, at least, very embellished stories.
I noticed the latest occurrence this morning, concerning the recent law change in Colorado, allowing for recreational marijuana use. The headline (fake, of course), reads “Marijuana Overdose Kills 37 In Colorado On First Day Of Legalization”, and features a picture of a “victim” laying on the ground.
As you can tell, the Facebook users who posted these links believe whatever they read on the internet, made evident by their comments. The comment on the link above says “Looks like the plan backfired”, and, the one below (which is my favorite so far): “Idiots! The death toll could be as high as 200-300 by next week. Unbelievable at the stupidity.” (I second that last sentence!!)
It’s usually fairly easy to tell if a website is a parody site: click the “About” link on the site. That will usually tell you what the site is about. Look for words like “parody” and “satire” and “gullible” (okay, I threw that last one in there for comedic value).
Another bit of “untruth” that has been spreading on Facebook is about what Pope Francis “supposedly” said about changes in the Catholic Church. The post claims that The Pope said that “all religions are true” and that the Catholic Church no longer believes that there is a “Hell”. Remember, don’t believe everything you read!!