How To Check Out a Hoax

In this world of mass communication by email, hoaxes run rampant. Since it is so easy to forward emailed hoaxes on to more readers, many people do. In doing so they think they are sending useful, timely information, but there are instead promoting widespread belief in hoaxes.

Required Tools

  • Computer

Instructions

Check out your Hoax online:

  1. Check out Snopes.com. Snopes is THE urban legend hotspot and a great place to validate conspiracy theories. If you are looking to validate a story, a quote, or an Urban Legend, this is the place to go.
  2. Visit Factcheck.org. Factcheck.org can help you to determine what is real and what is a hoax in the political sphere. They cite sources for their information and analyze the nuances of bills and laws that have been signed.
  3. Utilize search engines. If there is a massive amount of kidney stealing going on, chances are you’ll turn something up by searching sites like Google, Yahoo or MSN. Often, you’ll find that many people have been approached by a physician in another company trying to move funds into America with their help. Their mistakes in trusting these emails can help you avoid a hoax.

Television:

  1. Watch Mythbusters. Mythbusters is a television show on The Discovery Channel and is dedicated to demonstrate various urban legends to see if they really are true. Their website also contains results from past shows.
  2. Watch your local news. If cell phones endanger us all by possibly causing gas stations to explode, it will probably make the local newscast at 10:00. Watching your local news can help you separate fact from fiction.
  3. Use your critical thinking skills. Often, just thinking about the email or letter you’ve read will help you sort out fact from fiction.