Costco TP Recall is Fake News
A recent post that went viral on social media claimed that the brand of toilet paper sold at Costco was contaminated with the coronavirus. That post is not true.
In this new world of "Clicks = Money", people will try almost anything to get you to click on a story. The easiest way to get you to click is to post something that will tug at your emotions. While posts that draw sympathy work well, the ones that work best are the posts that either make you angry or scare you.
What would be scarier to someone who spent most of last month's paycheck on 15 cases of Kirkland's toilet paper (the Costco brand) than to find out you've been wiping with the coronavirus? Today, not much. But here's the good news: you weren't gullible enough to believe that post. Right?
We try our best to bring you the truth. We try our best to educate, entertain, and inform you without causing a panic. We try our best to show that slow and steady is usually the best way to ride out the storm.
I have to admit that when I see someone post something like this, I get upset:
Do I take personal offense to the post? Well, yes, I do. Let me explain why.
I am in the media. Even though I work at a station that mostly plays music, we still have a duty to share the news. Maybe not in an official newscast-y way, but we do try to keep people informed.
If I report that someone is buying cases of toilet paper because of concerns over the coronavirus, and then thousands of other people go out to buy toilet paper, that's on them. When asked "why are you buying all of the toilet paper", many people aren't certain. "We heard on the news that people were buying toilet paper, so we decided to stock up." Is that logical? Methinks not. Did we tell people to go out and purchase toilet paper? Nope. It was nothing but monkey-see, monkey-do panic.
I asked the lady who posted the meme how she would feel if someone posted a meme about everyone in her profession, which happens to be nursing. What if someone posted that every nurse was abusing their patients and not being held accountable. How would that make her feel? Well, she didn't answer the question, and she left the post up on her timeline.
Are there some "media" outlets or sites posing as media outlets causing panic by posting fake stories? Yes, there are, but don't group them in with the real media.
Remember this: life is 10% of what's thrown at you, and 90% of how you handle it. Are you handling it correctly?
When you read something online do yourself a favor before you post it. Ask 3 questions: 1. Is it true? Research takes only a few seconds. 2. Is it kind? Even if something is true, it's may not be necessary to share if it is only to ridicule. 3. Is it necessary? Will, by posting the information, the world be a better place?
If you fail to ask yourself those 3 questions (4, I guess) before you post something, YOU may be a part of the problem.