Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Literally Unbelievable

In 2013, I'm pretty sure it's a pretty universal experience to have at least one Facebook friend who is a bit of a train wreck.  I have one such person on my list, and for a variety of reasons I cannot delete him.  He is quite prone to daily postings of dozens of ridiculous political comments/links/cartoons that range from condescendingly disagreeable to outright offensive.  A large part of this offensiveness, IMHO, comes from the fact that a decent amount of what he posts isn't actually true.

He seems to be a deep sucker for a story that fits his pre-existing narrative, and at least twice a day I see something out of him that doesn't even pass a basic sniff test.  To be fair, he at least occasionally gets called out on this.  Apparently this has been getting to him though (the "hey that story's not true" part), because last night he posted quite the disclaimer that let everyone know that he "thoroughly researches" every story he posts.  

A mere 10 hours later, with no irony and lots of anger, he posted this article: Lance Armstrong Fails Drug Test for Job at Target.

On the bright side, just a few posts down on my newsfeed, a different friend posted this list chronicling the 35 best times someone on Facebook thought The Onion was real.  These two friends don't know each other, so it was pretty serendipitous.

It's a great list, and apparently it's drawn from a whole website of this sort of thing called Literally Unbelievable.

Check your sources people, check your sources.  


  1. Hopped over to see if you had anything to say about the correlation/causation stir regarding labor induction & autism. I just saw the story today, but the fanatics on both sides are already waging war via my FB news feed.

    Anyway, the website was funny but not unsurprising. Did I ever tell you about the time a history teacher at my school had to convince her seniors that it's faster to get to China via CA rather than Europe, even though "that means the plane has to go off the edge of the map"? The title reminded me of a similar website, but with a slightly more frustrated tone: http://literallydrivingmecrazy.tumblr.com/

  2. I have an uncle who sends me Onion articles as if they are real from time to time. None recently.

  3. RE: FaceBook. It is probably possible to exclude particular friends from your main News-Feed view, while keeping them on the Friends list.

    Not that I'm a paragon of News-Feed management.

    I've got several people on my FB list who post about vaccines, organic/natural food, and similar stuff. Now, they're starting to worry about Smart Meters. (Not for the surveillance-of-lifestyle-by-Power-Company features, but for strange-radiation-by-the-device features.)

    I wish I could exclude their posts by subject, because I kind of like the other things they post about.