Quote: If a unit of data gets shared enough times it is considered true

“The Internet is, in a lot of ways, its own folklore-creating machine,” she says. “If a unit of data gets shared enough times it is considered true.”

Debunking the Myth of 19th-Century ‘Tear Catchers’.” Atlas Obscura. 2 May 2017. http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/tearcatchers-victorian-myth-bottle Accessed 25 May 2017.

This is a problem with the echo chamber of the web. If something is repeated enough times people assume it’s true. This is especially true of not very reputable websites that often copy content from each other. So you find a shakey fact on one site, google it and you’ll find the exact same list on another shakey website and it’s confirmed. People also love good stories, especially with lots of (capital R) Romance and drama like the “tear catchers” (really perfume bottles) even if they don’t make sense if you take a moment and think about them. If it’s a good story it’s very difficult to shake someone’s belief. So be a good example if something is too good a story take a minute and dig a bit to see if it’s true before you believe it in the first place.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Advertisements

Quote: Back when it was spelled publick

“People were making stuff up and foisting it on the public back when it was spelled publick. Ye olde fake news, you might say.” – Gregory S. Schneider

The fake news that haunted George Washington.” Washington Post. 10 April 2017. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2017/04/10/the-fake-news-that-haunted-george-washington/?utm_term=.78d63ebc65b1 Accessed 2 May 2017.

Whenever people talk about all fake news today and how it’s a brand new thing, I know they haven’t read much history. False stories printed as fact date back to the Colonial era of this country. In the 18th and 19th century most large cities would have two newspapers one for each party and you would barely recognize the same news as it was carried in the two papers.

For all the fuss kicked up about the “new” term fake news (new as in approximately 1890), people have always used made up stories, or at least their own political slant on them, to try to sway opinion. I highly recommend reading both the article the quote is from and this one about people’s ideas about science and where they get them.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.