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December 23, 2015

snopeslogoJust in time for Christmas, yet another hoax pops up on Facebook. This one is that Mark Zuckerberg is going to give away tons of money to common folk like you and me. Here’s the text that I saw. Remember, this is a HOAX.


Can’t wait to see who the lucky recipients are…According to Good Morning America, Not a hoax! Mark Zuckerburg has announced that he is giving away $45 billion of Facebook stock. What you may not have heard is that he plans to give 10% of it away to people like YOU and ME! All you have to do is copy and paste this message into a post IMMEDIATELY. At midnight PST, Facebook will search through the day’s post and award 1000 people with $4.5 million. Each as a way of saying thank you for making Facebook such a powerful vehicle for connection.

So do you for even a minute believe that Mark Zuckerberg is going to give you $4.5 million? The first clue is that paragraph says it “Not a hoax!”. What makes people get the urge to forward this baloney along? Actually, Zuckerberg did talk about giving away $45 Billion of his fortune, but he doesn’t say how or to who the money will be going. Here’s the link to what Mark Zuckerberg actually wrote. Click here.

So I have written about hoaxes before, but it doesn’t seem to be sticking. So, I guess I need to do it again. Here goes.

You have just read a story that seems to be too good to be true. Perhaps, someone is going to give you a ton of money. Or, something wonderful will happen if you post this note.

There has been a saying for a long time in the computing world, Garbage In, Garbage Out, or as I like to think of it is, Garbage In, GOSPEL out.

So before you go and post that message, I would encourage you to check it out before you blindly pass it on. So how do I do that, you say? There is a great resource called “SNOPES.COM was created in 1995 as a Usenet newsgroup by David Mikkleson. The name Snopes originated from the family name of unpleasant people in the works of William Faulkner. For more information about, go to the Wiki pages. (Click here)

I would recommend browsing the current top 25 internet hoaxes and rumors. It is amusing reading. Click here

My Favorite Internet Myths

August 11, 2014

So I am on Facebook fairly often and usually someone posts something that is just not true. Perhaps someone read an email from a friend of a friend of a friend. Usually there is no real attribution from a real news source.

Over the years, I have often tried to educate my FB friends to check the veracity (or as Stephen Colbert would call it “Truthiness”) of an email story. As always, I recommend checking as the definitive source for truthiness of internet myths. Or before the internet came along, urban myths. was started (and continues to be run) by Barbara and David Mikkelson of California. Here’s the wikipedia entry.

Here are a few of my favorite internet/urban myths:

The Well to Hell

Geologists working somewhere in remote Siberia had drilled a hole some 14.4 kilometers deep (about 9 miles) when the drill bit suddenly began to rotate wildly. A Mr. Azzacov (identified as the project’s manager) was quoted as saying they decided that the center of the earth was hollow.

Supposedly, the geologists measured temperatures of over 2,000 degrees in the deep hole. They lowered super sensitive microphones to the bottom of the well, and to their astonishment they heard the sounds of thousands, perhaps millions, of suffering souls screaming.

Well of course this is not true. Here is the link to Snopes.

Skyway to Heaven

I was raised a Southern Baptist and twice now a preacher has made reference to airlines pairing their pilots with one Christian (or saved)and one non-Christian (or un-saved). This is done on the pre-text that if and when the 2nd coming of Christ happens and the one Christian pilot is taken into the clouds with Christ, leaving the non-Christian pilot to supposedly land the plane safely alone. One preacher specifically mentioned American Airlines as having this policy.

Also not true. See Snopes.

So many goofy stories, so little time. I could spend all day looking through this stuff. So just one more and then you will just have to go to on your own and browse the nuttiness.

Jeter Signs with Red Sox

The franchise player Derek Jeter is sure to disappoint every New York Yankee fan in the world after deciding not to retire after this baseball season. One of their star players for years, Jeter has signed a multi-year deal with Yankees rival the Boston Red Sox.

According to sources, Boston has been eyeing the possibility of picking up Jeter since he announced he would retire after this year, his 20th season in the MLB. Reportedly, the deal will make him an additional $25 million a year for the 3 years of his contract.

As they say on the internet, ROTFLMAO. No true Red Sox fan (or Yankee fan, for that matter) would believe this. It is so bogus. Here’s the pointer.

So, gentle reader, if you are reading something on your email or Facebook or Twitter, that doesn’t mean it’s true. Before you go and post it to all of your friends (and make yourself  look stupid), go visit and check it out.