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So, I'm ready to go off on a bit of tear right now. Last night, one of my nephews posted to Facebook something he got off Instagram. It was a "story" about how children, who 'all' had flu shots, are dying from the latest flu outbreak. I immediately informed him that it was a false story. He asked me how it could be, because it had "quotes from the CDC and CBS news"? I had to explain to him that there are quite of few sites that put up stories with either false quotes, or quotes lifted from other, factual, stories. This is done to lend credence to whatever agenda they're trying to push. Many of these come from the same camps as the anti-vaxxers, who have also been repeatedly proven false, yet somehow still convince people they're correct. I even reminded him of the all the false stories planted on Facebook about Clinton during the election. He shared a number of those, and every time he did, I provided him with the factual accounts. I also reminded him that there has been ample evidence that many of those planted stories were part of the repeatedly-proved Russian interference in our elections. He's 15-years-old, and I am constantly reminding him that he needs to fact-check the shit he sees on the internet before he shares it, or believes it. I know it pisses him off whenever I do this, and I honestly don't care. Don't I, and for that matter--don't we ALL, have an obligation to point out the falsehoods being spread online? Especially among our young people? Isn't it worth pissing them off to get them to think more critically and be skeptical of what they see online, or anywhere else? What say you?

KKGator 9 Jan 31
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12 comments

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1

i'm ready to pull the plug on fakebook, in particular since discovering this mob. & the main reason is not so much all the "fake news" as such, it's rather that everyone seems to be eager to latch onto them unquestioningly. i use to decide my truth by what i experience, more & more so, not by what i get fed pre-masticated (don't have a tv either). people on fakebook are drooling after that shit, & should i dare to post my own thought process .... void. here i get feedback, interest, response, encouragement. worlds apart.

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i agree but am not sure i can even believe the factcheckers

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If one gets upset at being proven wrong, they're immature and/or dishonorable. Course I've seen lots of adults that hate being proven wrong. So eh.

lots of adults emotionally never reach past an age between 5 & 15. ...

1

Please please please keep telling your nephew to seek out the truth. You don’t want him to become one of those people that don’t accept the truth! And there are people like that. It’s scary. I went on the comments of a conservative post once and someone had the same last name as a famous person. Is that so and sos brother they kept asking. I looked it up. It wasn’t. I posted that it wasn’t. They ignored it. Kept posting that it was his brother. I posted it again. It was like it was invisible and they couldn’t see it. It’s just so so dangerous. And it’s happening a lot. I was on a site with a man that not only believes Obama is a Muslim he truly truly believes that Michelle Obama is a man. Seriously. I asked him why he thought that and he said there’s a picture where you can see an indentation in her dress...!! I kid you not. Frightening.

Norie Level 5 Jan 31, 2018

So help me. Deliberate ignorance should be criminal.

well yeah thats what InfoWars said

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If you haven't already, you could inform him about how to use Snopes or other fact-checking sites before he shares things.

I do. All the damned time.

@KKGator Alright, just checking.

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fuck how they feel they need to know the truth in amongst the piles of crap.

I agree. Which is why I will risk the ire of anyone I know in order to preserve truth over lies.

good on you as do I and as my kids are grown men they are both none believers by choice and both doing well in life.

1

I didn't grow up being taught to be skeptical of content because the internet wasnt around (in widespread use) when I was young--it wasn't an issue. I was about fifteen when I started using the internet, and in some ways mature for my age--so I was savvy enough to know that in a marketplace of communication that's open to every Tom, Dick, and Harry--with an anonymity option--people can and will say anything. I never took anything for granted because it was all new to me, and I was already mostly mature.

Today's fifteen-year-olds have grown up never knowing a world that didn't have such a marketplace of communication...and, I'm guessing, by and large have never been explicitly taught the appropriate attitude of disbelief with which to approach it. This sort of attitude needs to be a cultural thing. Schools can have a class, parents can give a "talk"--but if the attitude is not reflected in and supported by the broader cultural milieu, it's not going to stick.

Our social culture has not caught up to our technology. Story of the human race.

It's also a general intelligence thing: you don't know what you don't know. You can't understand things that never occur to you. Believing whatever you see on the internet just happens to play nicely into that dynamic. People are lazy; they don't want to think and will go to great lengths to avoid it. Never before have we had such a need to scrutinize and think independently. It's a constellation of factors.

Keep doing what you're doing. You're on the right side of history.

Maybe you can inoculate your family; I hope so. The culture needs to change, though, if we're to stem this tide toward idiotic credulity.

Re the flu: the flu shot always carries a certain probability of being ineffective because its formulated based on a prediction of which strain(s) will be active in a given season. They make their best guess from genetic analysis and mutation rates--and they can be wrong. Just because you got the flu after getting your shot doesn't mean any mistakes were necessarily made.

0

I know the current vaccine being given is not protecting against all the virus strains roaming around - but not sure about these kids , and what their status was ?

From everything I've read/heard, those who have died from the flu this season had NOT gotten this season's flu shot. As I stated previously, the flu vaccine does not prevent all strains. It does, however, lessen the severity of whichever flu strain one contracts.

@KKGator So they say. I haven't been vaccinated in many years ...

@evergreen I get my flu shot every year. So far, so good. I'm around little kids. They bring me all sorts of lovely germs.

@Duke When I was replying to my nephew, I thought of you and your post from a day or so ago. I remembered you spoke of Thimerosal, and I did a quick check to make sure I remembered what you said correctly. I included that information in my reply to him. I also told him that this year's vaccine didn't cover the particular strain that is going around, but it's still a better option than not having had the shot at all. I do appreciate the knowledge of many of the members here, including you. I've got my hands full keeping up with these kids. I need all the help I can get. Thank you, Duke.

@Duke Yes, I'm aware of this. Since I don't do vaccine or fish , I'll not concern myself. But thanks !

1

I appaud your tenacity...it is work! It is work, just keeping myself straight, on what is out there! Sometimes it feels like society has been twisted into a strange shape. What if, the mentally unhealthy have found their niche and now the rest of us have got to navigate thru the muck to find and keep the truth? Then we are forced to question truth! This is not easy...

I absolutely believe in questioning everything. However, when something is established fact (i,e. gravity, the Earth is a sphere, the sky is blue), when someone calls it into question, I can't help my consternation.

@KKGator me too!!!

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I have adult friends who will forward BS around as accepted fact only because there read it on the internet, FB, in emails. I repeatedly direct them to debunking sites (Snope, Authority websites, etc) but it does absolutely no good. Confirmation bias is strong in all of us. (sigh)

It's been really frustrating at times. I've had (now) former friends get their panties in a bunch when I've told them that something they shared/believed was false. It's not even about the approach most of the time. I DO try to be as nice about it as possible. Some people just don't want to told they've been lied to. Doesn't mean I'm going to stop though. I feel like I have an obligation to the truth/facts.

@KKGator I agree completely.

1

Geee.... I hear it every night that this new flu is killing more people... where does it come from? It seems like it only comes around when the north wind blows cold air to the United States...

Joke? Sarcasm? The flu situation in Asia has been scary for years...

@Zster. I'm serious... it may happen elsewhere... but only during the winter months here. This is not a joke.....

The flu is constantly mutating. While this season's flu shot won't prevent all the different strains, if you do get it, it does make it less severe. Most of those who have died from the flu, did not get a flu shot. The story my nephew believed, stated that children who had died from the flu, had gotten the flu shot. That is untrue.

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Who is leading him down that pathway? Is it coming from school? Church? Relatives?

He's getting (IMO) too much of this misinformation off the internet. I know his mother tells him not to believe everything he reads there, but he's 15. He thinks he knows everything because he has access. Teenagers. sigh

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