So here’s a little contribution I made to the world today, after seeing yet another Facebook friend sharing yet another easily disproven bit of misinformation:

If you see something, CHECK SNOPES FIRST.

Please: Steal this image. Re-post it. Share it with your friends (you know the ones). Post it as a comment when they post whatever hoax comes around next. Get it out there.

Over and over, I see people–who in other situations seem to have at least two brain cells to rub together–sharing and reposting images on Facebook that are absolute junk. In most cases, disproving the information is as simple as googling “snopes” plus a couple keywords from the text. For instance, the image of a bunch of soda cans that talks about how someone died after drinking from a can that had been contaminated by rat urine? Yeah, that’s false, and not only is that link is the top result after searching for “snopes can rat urine“, but every other link on the Google results page is to a page debunking the information.

This stuff is not hard to find. The problem is, even the couple clicks and few words of typing are more work than simply clicking “share” on Facebook, and so when people see these things, their brains just seem to disengage. After all, it could be true…right? Well, no, not usually, but it gets shared anyway.

So, in a fit of pique, I created the image above (based off the “See Something Say Something campaign), and have now posted it publicly to Facebook, Google+, and this blog. It’s my (sure to be unrealized) hope that this image will get shared and, just perhaps, prompt a few people to actually put some small effort into thinking about what they’re posting.

Yeah, I know. Unlikely. But it’s worth a shot.