This went around a while back and I have seen it shared again a few times today. I guess 12418812_1023432564376267_569278533865056591_oit’s making the rounds again in light of Hurricane Harvey.

Please, please don’t screen grab this and start sharing before you read what I have to say. I’ve purposely kept it small so it’s not too legible here.

Do you know who originally came up with this meme? Do you know how old it is? Do you know anything at all about its accuracy? If not, then it may not be the best source of information out there for which charities are the best.

Here is some info on this meme from Snopes.

And here is a link from the Federal Trade Commission about how to check into a charity that might be more helpful than a random meme on Facebook.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for somewhere to donate, here’s a link from Texas Monthly about ways you can help after Hurricane Harvey.

 

 

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Truth
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Here’s a good article on How to Spot Truth in the Sea of Lies, Rumors, and Myths on the Internet.

Political memes are the worst for lies that spread like wildfire. I’ve seen them lying for both sides. For instance, both of these are lies from the last presidential election:  http://www.snopes.com/1998-trump-people-quote/ and http://www.snopes.com/hillary-clinton-stupid-quote/

Just take a moment to check. If you don’t have a moment to check, maybe you don’t really have the free time to be posting, anyway.  Go to the original source if you can. If you can’t, just google some more sources.  Check if you’re on a satire site.  Think about if the article/meme/blog post in question is just confirming your own bias and you’re not thinking it through.

I’m guilty of it, too, so I’m not saying I’m not. I’m saying let’s all be a little more careful.

Oh and can we try to be polite and not call each other repuglicans and libtards or other dehumanizing names?  We’re all human–except for the Twitter bots, of course.  We can all hate those.

Counterfeit Authentic Magnified
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Here are some ideas for checking photos and videos you see online.

A handy tool for photos is https://www.tineye.com where you can do a quick reverse image search. For an example, during the last presidential election, I saw a photo on my Facebook feed of Hillary Clinton shaking hands with Bin Laden. It’s not real. It looked photoshopped and it took very little time to find out it’s from a photoshop contest from a website. It’s o.k. to have differing viewpoints. It’s not o.k. to swallow misinformation without at least a quick check.

Check for altered video (you also can’t believe every video you see).

Submit photos for forensic analysis.

Another easy way to fact check a video is if you see a short excerpt or clip from a video that enrages you, maybe check for a longer version before you share your outrage. This comes from both sides of the political spectrum (and from outside politics). Here’s an example involving Trump supposedly ignoring a disabled child.

Look, if you think you don’t have time to double check before you share a photo or meme, maybe you don’t have time to share at all.