When I saw this picture today on Facebook, I was quite amazed. As a handful of friends did, I started being seriously worried, even being on the other side of the pond, about what was going to happen to the many friends I have overseas.
I started sharing it, “socializing” on it, and starting obvious dissertations on how powerful yet scary nature can be and wishing luck to all of my friends.
But then I did what, unluckily enough I suspect, the vast majority of social media members don’t usually do – and sometimes even journalists tend to forget: just get one level deeper
Quoting from the original posted Facebook page:
Jason Otts: Ok… apparently this pic has gone viral from my wall with 99,989 shares. In the last 15 minutes I have had like 200 people add me as a friend because of this pic. So I called the person who texted it to me and she then called her friend who is in New York and he told her that it was fake. So now I have 200 friends who like a photo that is fake on my wall. Funny, but awkward….
So turns out it was a fake, as other sources seem to confirm. It’s the first time that I get caught in a viral so quickly (especially as I’m not in the cool Valley ), but that made me think thoroughly enough about the evil power of the Internet.
While I’m the first considering “the Net” my only God, Wikipedia my only Bible, the righteous and truthful source for any information, the only remaining free channel of communication and yadi yadi yada, this time I am facing the awful truth of how sketchy, easily manipulated and imprecise certain pieces of information can be.
I will spare you anymore social interpretation of this, but just take an old but still very modern advice: before jumping your guns on some internet opinion, check your source!