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Ignorance Forwarded

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As a kid I remember seeing a scene where a bad guy tries to kill an old guy who has an epileptic episode, by withholding an iron key chain and preventing everyone in the crowd from aiding the old guy by handing him an iron rod and then the hero comes along punches the bad guy hands over an iron rod to the old guy, old guy gets well crowds cheer roll curtains.

Fast forward to year 2012 during which time I was present in a first aid training seminar. Near the closing of the session the presenters asked the audience to present an account of any personal stories of first aid administration. One participant stood up and recounted his experience of seeing a person in road having seizures and how he and some onlookers helped the suffering man by holding his legs and arms and how he thrust an iron key chain into the fists of that individual and generally saving the guy. The presenter after applauding the participants concern to help a fellow man in distress; explained why everything he did was wrong. And his actions actually could have adversely affected the person.  If you read the above links you will know that the first action is to stay calm, allowing the suffering individual to move freely and clearing out any objects near the suffering person so as to prevent them from injuring themselves. You might notice that the participant did the exact opposite and remembering my earlier movie scene , the bad guy was the good guy who made every effort to keep the suffering old guy away from any objects or being held down by the crowd and his good deed got rewarded in form of a punch and kick from the hero.

The reason I have taken this particular example is because it tells us how sometimes following false or half information can not only be less effective but actually do you more harm. Let’s take another case of this so called Cough CPR that circulates through emails and Facebook posts which if you dig deeper (a simple Google search) will bring up results that will teach you never to take advice from email or a post. Of course there are tons  of  other myths spreading through the internet. And then there is a different category where mainstream media spreads false stories like this one about a man who sued axe for not feeling the “AXE” effect and not attracting any women which also appeared in a number mainstream dailies and tabloids. Of course a Google search will show that the source of the news is a site that is called “Faking News”.

Part of the reason of such false news spreading is their general tendency to invoke our feelings and thus make us to immediately forward such stories. Their inherent qualities invoke fear, amusement, anger and spreading them in a viral way will only hasten such things. So the next time you see a story, and want to spread just Google it (trust me it won’t take five minutes).

So to conclude, No you’ll not get free cash by sharing a post and facebook will not donate money when you share a picture.


 

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