Dear Facebook Friends, Will You Please Learn Proper Etiquette?

Dear Facebook Friends,

Will you please learn proper netiquette? I am growing tired of the emotion being wasted on lies and half-truths. No, it is not the drunken Friday night spats or the latest break-up that irritates me. It is not even getting spammed by pictures of your kids that has annoyed me. It is the memes and bogus news stories that assault my Facebook news feed on a weekly basis.

Morgan Freeman gave a poignant statement about gun control after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. Except that he never said it.

Facebook photo of Morgan Freeman that went viral (Linda Rohdin via Facebook, http://aka.ms/morganFreeman)
Facebook photo of Morgan Freeman that went viral (Linda Rohdin via Facebook, http://aka.ms/morganFreeman)

And then there was also the twitter explosion involving Megan Fox, who allegedly died. She posted on her Facebook page that she was not dead. Her nondeath has been verified by news sources, and herself, so no need to consult snopes.com on this one.

The following is a better way to post a news story Photo on Facebook! Notice that it includes links so that people can consult actual news sources to know if this actually happened.

Utah's Trooper of the Year Busted for Pinning DUIs on Dozens of Innocent People
SALT LAKE CITY, UT — More than 40 people have come forward in a class-action lawsuit against Utah Highway Patrol Officer Lisa Steed. Steed was named Utah’s “Officer of the Year” in 2007 for making more than 200 DUI arrests. In 2009, Steed racked up an extraordinary 400 DUI arrests, twice the number of any other UHP trooper, averaging more than two DUI busts per shift. Steed’s supervisor Lt. Winward credits her extraordinary arrest record in part to “typing skills” that allow her to process DUI reports more quickly than other troopers.
She has caused incalculable harm to dozens – perhaps hundreds – of people with bogus DUI and drug charges. Imagine the effects on all those who have been imprisoned, lost their jobs, spent thousands of dollars on legal fees, or perhaps even lost their children because of her corruption. This is the result of a skewed incentive system for police officers.
http://www.abc4.com/content/news/state/story/Lawsuit-filed-against-former-trooper-Lisa-Steed/JzO_hDsWqUqJebi0i4k6Xw.cspx
http://gma.yahoo.com/former-cop-accused-faking-duis-021947523–abc-news-topstories.html
http://www.cityweekly.net/utah/article-12119-utah-highway-patrols-dui-super-trooper-lisa-steed.html

I no longer want to see stories on Facebook that are posted without verified news links. It is ridiculous for 100,000 people to “like” something that isn’t even true. Snopes.com is nice, but I don’t want to consult it for EVERY single news story/meme that appears.

Facebook has never been my primary source for news, but the emotional impact that people experience about some of these “fake” stories bothers me. What do you think about the social media hoax phenomenon?

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