Everyone remembers the day actor Morgan Freeman died. And when their beloved Mikey from the Life cereal commercials suddenly passed away. And just last month, we learned of the thwarted assassination attempt on President Obama when masked men broke into the White House.
Each of these “breaking news” stories soon proved untrue . . . except for the five or ten minutes they lived online. Those few minutes multiplied in minutes as millions of gullible people enthusiastically shared false information.
Before the web connected us all Urban Legends such as these often lived on for years. Today, thankfully, the rumors die out in an hour or two. Still, even the savviest web user can fall into the emotional potholes of sharing bogus information. This can be both embarrassing to the person posting and damaging to others depending on the content shared.
According to The New York Times, Snopes.com, one of the…