I received an e-mail today maligning the ACLU. As I always do when receiving such e-mails, I checked it out at snopes.com. This time I discovered the allegations to be completely false. In fact, the people they quote don't exist.
These e-mails frustrate me to no end. First of all, there are my friends and relatives who forward them to me without checking to find out if they are true. Whenever I see an e-mail like that, I question it's veracity. Are my friends and family, who I consider to be fairly intelligent people, so easily duped that they not only believe whatever they read but they become morally outraged by it, and then forward it on, without finding out if it's true? Or can they just not be bothered?
But what really ticks me off are the people who write this crap in the first place. Look, everyone is entitled to their opinion, and they are entitled to express that opinion. I'm all for freedom of speech. But WHY, WHY, WHY do people think it is OK to write complete falsehoods and spread them around via the Internet in hopes of gaining support for their opinion? It's called slander, is it not? and I would like to see these morons taken to task for it. Unfortunately, it appears to work. People read this dreck, and forward it on. I would think that the fact that people make up lies about these things would WEAKEN their cases. But apparently the public is so easily hoodwinked, that it doesn't. Why aren't people out there asking "why do they have to make up lies to make the ACLU look bad? Maybe I should look into what the organization REALLY does?" (I'm using the ACLU as my example because of this e-mail, but obviously there are forwards about politicians, and religious leaders, and other organizations, etc) They might find they agree, or that they disagree. But they don't bother to look into it at all. They just forward the e-mail!!!
I love the Internet. Obviously. But it frustrates me that so much false information can be spread in such a short amount of time.
So please, I beg of you, fact check things before you pass them on. Speak up when you discover that false information is being spread (I always send the link with the facts to not only the person who sent the false e-mail, but any other address I can see that the false info was also sent to).
There are enough true things that we need to be up in arms about in this world. Let us not muddy the waters by believing everything we read. Please think and RESEARCH before you forward that e-mail or link to that post - whether you agree with its point of view or not.