Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Techno-quette => Topic started by: NutellaNut on October 15, 2013, 10:08:07 AM

Title: Frequent Snopes-ing
Post by: NutellaNut on October 15, 2013, 10:08:07 AM
I have a good friend - she's actually going to be an in-law, as her daughter and my step-son are engaged.  Our relationship is close.  She has different political views from DH and I, which is fine - many of our friends hold different views and we actually have had very interesting discussions on occasions.

But this friend is prone to making posts on FB that are easily debunked by checking Snopes or Factcheck.  Sometimes the posts are just things like "This common food is actually poisonous!" or "Boycott this manufacturer for such-and-such reason!" but many of them are politically-motivated misinformation.  She is not originating the post, but reposting a viral anti-X post or article.

My tendency has been to reply with a brief "X website has an article about that - it's not quite accurate to say....," and the link to the article.  But I noticed that I've been doing it a lot with her.  Probably nine out of ten of my Snopes-ings lately have been in reply to posts by her - probably once or twice a week.  I don't want to seem argumentative, but I also do not like to leave blatant misinformation laying out there unchallenged.

I do not reply when she says something that is just an opinion - I do not want to debate politics on FB.  I'm fine with debunking things like "combine these two ingredients to make a great cleaner!" but obviously politics is more fraught. 

Do folks have an opinion?  Am I being rude in replying this way?  Would it be better to just stop posting Snopes or fact-checking websites articles in response (which will drive me crazy to leave serious misinformation unchallenged)?  Unfortunately, I can't just take her out of my feed since this is one of the main ways we stay connected.  Would it be better to approach the subject in person sometime, and mention she might want to check Snopes etc. before reposting something, since there's so much misinformation out there?

Title: Re: Frequent Snopes-ing
Post by: MrTango on October 15, 2013, 10:16:24 AM
I'll send a snopes link to any given person once, maybe twice if they're a close friend.  After that, I'll set my news feed to show "Only Important" posts from that person.  If their annoying posts still get through, I'll either unfriend them or hide all of their posts from my news feed.

I'm too busy to be this guy: http://xkcd.com/386/
Title: Re: Frequent Snopes-ing
Post by: Hillia on October 15, 2013, 10:48:57 AM
DHs family (parents, aunts, cousin, brother) forward every bit of crap that wanders through email or facebook.  Some of it is so obviously fake it's laughable, others are more plausible until you do a little research.  I no longer bother citing snopes unless what they're forwarding could be actually dangerous, such as the recent advice to cough vigorously to save yourself during a heart attach or to throw large amounts of flour on a fresh burn.
Title: Re: Frequent Snopes-ing
Post by: Donovan on October 15, 2013, 11:01:04 AM
My aunt is famous for believing everything she reads on the internet and passing it along on Facebook.  She stayed with me for a week a bit ago and I had a conversation with her about not taking everything posted on the internet as fact. I pulled up Snopes for her to show her an incorrect story that was going around so she could see for herself.

But that hasn't stopped her from continuing to repost everything under the sun, so I don't bother anymore. I just privately roll my eyes and scroll on by most of her posts.

But my sweet next door neighbor posted something that is well known to be false, and I didn't want think that if people didn't do it her own fb security was in jeopardy. (it was one of those 'do x so I know you've updated your security on fb, and then post it on your page so I can see it and keep you as a friend') So I sent her a gently worded private message with a link showing it as false.  She immediately put a disclaimer on her post and thanked me for the heads up. 

Title: Re: Frequent Snopes-ing
Post by: oogyda on October 15, 2013, 11:13:45 AM
Snopes-ing, in general, has been discussed a lot on this board and the concensus seems to be that there is nothing wrong with referring someone to Snopes.  Many people feel the same way you do regarding the continued spread of misinformation. 

Personally, I feel like it too often is used as a "Ha!  I know more/better than you do." club.  I'm not saying that is your intent, but that is very much how it can be interpreted.  Particularly if you're doing it as frequently as you say you are.  If nothing else, she's may be getting the idea that you think she's an idiot. 

I do think you should stop posting the Snopes or fact-checking articles to her.  Or at least, post fewer. 

As far as how you might deal with not being able to feed your compulsion, I have no advice.
Title: Re: Frequent Snopes-ing
Post by: Slartibartfast on October 15, 2013, 11:13:53 AM
I would ignore all but the most harmful ones on Facebook - they're not directed at you personally, so what does it matter if she thinks cantaloupes have secret invisible spiders or [insert political figure here] is working for the KKK?  Email forwards, though, *are* directed at you personally and it's totally reasonable to reply with a Snopes link each and every time, at least until she drops you from her forwarding list.
Title: Re: Frequent Snopes-ing
Post by: Goosey on October 15, 2013, 11:16:05 AM
I do think spreading ignorance through social media is a big deal and rampant these days.

That being said, there are some people who are determined to be ignorant and you can't save them.

Usually, if it gets to the point that I'm frustrated with them, I hide their feed.
Title: Re: Frequent Snopes-ing
Post by: problemattic on October 15, 2013, 11:25:04 AM
I don't think you're being rude, but I do think you're wasting your time.  People believe what they want to believe, and most often I have found nothing I say to the contrary makes any difference, accurate or not.  I do understand the frustration of seeing the same untrue and often inflammatory information posted again and again.  It makes me crazy!  If I can't help myself, I try to respond with some humor.  A relative of mine posted a "true" story on her timeline recently and I immediately recognized it.  It was basically, "(insert politician of your choice here) is soooo dumb, he/she did this!"  I had seen the same story, word for word, used to disparage other politicians in the past.  I remarked, "Oh, Aunt So-and-So, I am so glad you posted that.  It's been one of my favorite jokes since it was told about Governor X in 1992!  LOL!"   I used to "snopes" people freely, but it made some of them so furious that I had to block them.  I would like to know if I was spreading wildly untrue information, but some people feel differently.   ::)
Title: Re: Frequent Snopes-ing
Post by: shhh its me on October 15, 2013, 11:40:09 AM
  I don't think its rude but linking someone to snopes 52 -104 times a year might not help build a healthy relationship. So I would do it much less often.
Title: Re: Frequent Snopes-ing
Post by: EllenS on October 15, 2013, 11:46:03 AM
"Hide from Feed" button.

If you don't have anything real to talk about, there's no reason to stay actively in touch.  If in future she might be sharing photos of family members, you can always unhide her.
Title: Re: Frequent Snopes-ing
Post by: NutellaNut on October 15, 2013, 12:36:52 PM
OP with an amusing (to me, anyway) update! 

My friend just liked a link to a web page named something like Look at Snopes before posting incorrect emails.   :o  Not sure if this is a sea change or not, but it was funny to see that page name in my feed.

It does sound like I should stop Snopes-ing her as much.  I'll try to contain myself.

Taking her out of my feed isn't really an option - we "converse" regularly on recipes, family info, daily life stuff.  And I care about her a lot, and don't want to lose that contact.  So I'll just have to suck it up when I see a post that trips my Snopes trigger.  ;) 
Title: Re: Frequent Snopes-ing
Post by: esposita on October 15, 2013, 12:56:41 PM
Another thing to remember is that if you realize its easily debunked, everyone else on her fiend's list probably knows it too.
Title: Re: Frequent Snopes-ing
Post by: PastryGoddess on October 15, 2013, 01:13:23 PM
OP with an amusing (to me, anyway) update! 

My friend just liked a link to a web page named something like Look at Snopes before posting incorrect emails.   :o  Not sure if this is a sea change or not, but it was funny to see that page name in my feed.

It does sound like I should stop Snopes-ing her as much.  I'll try to contain myself.

Taking her out of my feed isn't really an option - we "converse" regularly on recipes, family info, daily life stuff.  And I care about her a lot, and don't want to lose that contact.  So I'll just have to suck it up when I see a post that trips my Snopes trigger.  ;) 

I would recommend getting a facebook filter app.  This way, things that you don't want to see don't make it into your news feed.  But you can still see the things you are interested in.  So mis-information would be hidden, and pictures of the kid/dogs/grandkids/etc would still be seen.
Title: Re: Frequent Snopes-ing
Post by: Redneck Gravy on October 15, 2013, 01:16:07 PM
My best friend's mom does this ALL the time.  At first I thought she was just opinionated but truly she believes everything she hears & reads.  There is no arguing with her and if you show her factual information she contributes it to a "coverup"

She will also state something completely outrageous at family gatherings and everyone will look at her like her head has fallen off.  Unless there is a new group member there that speaks up to correct her; everyone just rolls their eyes and keeps on with their conversation. 

I no longer correct and/or say anything that would disagree with her.  My friend appreciates this, her mom is nearly 80 and she is in poor health - why pick a fight with her at this point. 

Title: Re: Frequent Snopes-ing
Post by: lmyrs on October 15, 2013, 04:29:52 PM
My responses vary a bit. If it's a status update that they write, I may or may not respond with the truth. But if it's a "share" from another source, I just straight up report it as spam to FB.
Title: Re: Frequent Snopes-ing
Post by: Arila on October 15, 2013, 06:25:56 PM
I'm too busy to be this guy: http://xkcd.com/386/

Love that comic (specifically and generally). I used that on my husband one night a few months back too. :D
Title: Re: Frequent Snopes-ing
Post by: flickan on October 15, 2013, 07:19:38 PM
I think it sounds like a waste of your own time, which is valuable so why bother continuing to send snopes links?  I completely understand the compulsion to do so, it's aggravating when people spread misinformation that's so obviously untrue via the internet, but that's part of being online.  You have to learn to discern what's worth looking into and what's bull and if other people cannot do it their loss.  The only time I get really wound up about this is when the whole "vaccines are the devil" schtick pops up and I have to run away from the internet.

I know you aren't one upping her but I feel it may come across that way if you do it repeatedly so I'd avoid it.  For your own sanity too.

This person sounds insufferable.
Title: Re: Frequent Snopes-ing
Post by: *inviteseller on October 15, 2013, 07:27:59 PM
I have some very 'opinionated' relatives who post things of political nature that are so downright laughable, I almost think they are joking.  But these otherwise intelligent wonderful people are beleiving certain things so I have found myself Snopesing them.  I make no other comment other than to tell them to check Snopes for background on their article.  I try to only do it to the most outrageous things that are, IMO, dangerously false and misleading, but they do soldier on.  One relative went as far, when another relative very gently corrected some of the 'facts' stated in the article (he actually works for the place that was involved) and got blown up at for it, so I will be backing off.  You hate to see people you care about putting these things up and possibly looking silly for it, but sometimes you just have to sit back and let them have their opinions.
Title: Re: Frequent Snopes-ing
Post by: Allyson on October 16, 2013, 01:50:28 AM
Gah...this is one of my major issues. I realize that you can't change people's minds, and Snopes-ing can come off as smug. However (and I realize this might come off as silly) I genuinely do feel a moral imperative to at least *try* to stop the spread of Internet misinformation. Even little-seeming things can have consequences when they become a belief everyone holds, which can happen really easily. Things spread really easily, and then someone just 'knows' something is true without knowing *how* they know it, and repeat it, etc etc...

I do try to contain myself, but I really wish there was some kind of mandatory Internet education class in schools where they'd teach everyone how to spot this type of thing.
Title: Re: Frequent Snopes-ing
Post by: Slartibartfast on October 16, 2013, 01:59:39 AM
Gah...this is one of my major issues. I realize that you can't change people's minds, and Snopes-ing can come off as smug. However (and I realize this might come off as silly) I genuinely do feel a moral imperative to at least *try* to stop the spread of Internet misinformation. Even little-seeming things can have consequences when they become a belief everyone holds, which can happen really easily. Things spread really easily, and then someone just 'knows' something is true without knowing *how* they know it, and repeat it, etc etc...

I do try to contain myself, but I really wish there was some kind of mandatory Internet education class in schools where they'd teach everyone how to spot this type of thing.

I think you do have a point, but I also see a big difference between believing Politician X is secretly a puppy-kicking communist (when the Facebook user in question wouldn't be voting for Politician X anyway) versus believing that, for example, breast cancer is best cured by prayer or that Bill Gates will donate $100 to orphans if you post a picture of your credit card number.  Some of the more ??? stuff on Facebook may be eye-roll-worthy, and some of it may theoretically hurt a specific celebrity or company by driving away fans/business, but that's not really in the same league as "medical advice which will actually harm you" or "encouraging other people to get taken in by scammers."
Title: Re: Frequent Snopes-ing
Post by: cwm on October 16, 2013, 09:14:38 AM
OP you say you converse with her a lot on FB, but your feed is full of her "junk". You can block her from your feed and still have a lot of interactions on FB. You're still friends, you can still reply to her posts, she can still reply to yours, you'll still get notifications, and you can still message each other. The only thing that changes is she no longer shows up in your feed.

My sister does that off and on to various people during various times of the year. Actually, she had blocked her boyfriend from her feed and didn't notice for more than a month because of how much they already comment on each other's posts.
Title: Re: Frequent Snopes-ing
Post by: Layla Miller on October 16, 2013, 10:55:55 AM
I think there's also a difference when it comes to frequency of posting false information.  If someone on your friends list is constantly posting untrue stuff, then it's unlikely that Snopes or anything else will stop the flood.  If, however, an otherwise level-headed friend is taken in by a myth then I would gently point it out.  Most of my FB friends are the latter--once my SIL reposted the "FB is going to start charging!" myth and I replied with something like "Don't worry; it's not true!" with a link.  My best friend shared that fake video of an eagle carrying off a toddler and seemed genuinely concerned, so I did the same for her.

For me, a lot has to do with the person posting and their angle.  If they seem truly worried about what they're posting (which was the case in both of my examples above) then I actually consider it a kindness to link them to Snopes or similar.

TL;DR: Know your audience and adjust your approach accordingly.  :)
Title: Re: Frequent Snopes-ing
Post by: MissRose on October 17, 2013, 07:03:53 AM
Makes me glad that my mother does not have Facebook nor knows how to use a computer.  She would probably post every weight loss related item on my wall as an example, and accepts like a gospel things like Doctor Oz, The Doctors, etc have to say on tv or other forms of media.
Title: Re: Frequent Snopes-ing
Post by: sweetonsno on October 18, 2013, 12:23:26 AM
I think you can change what updates you get from a person. If you select "only important," you won't see the shares. I imagine that most of her nutty things are shares.

I wouldn't correct unless there's some sort of danger, like a suggestion that you mix bleach and ammonia to make an extra-strong cleaner.
Title: Re: Frequent Snopes-ing
Post by: blarg314 on October 18, 2013, 04:29:50 AM

For the Snopesing and repeated offenders I would pick my battles. I would ignore anything except posts where following the instructions would result in danger to the reader or bystanders, in which case I will post a public correction with links.

So if someone posts about how you should throw flour on a grease fire to put it out, I will correct that publicly. If they're posting that water heated in the microwave is harmful to plants, I'll ignore it because believing it isn't going to hurt someone.
Title: Re: Frequent Snopes-ing
Post by: Cherry91 on October 18, 2013, 04:55:58 AM
My general approach depends on how close I am to the person and how they've reacted to what they've posted - eg, if they're quite upset, I'm more than happy to tell them it's not real, but if they're happy about false info I might try to find a gentler way to break it to them.
Title: Re: Frequent Snopes-ing
Post by: wyliefool on October 25, 2013, 11:06:03 AM
Gah...this is one of my major issues. I realize that you can't change people's minds, and Snopes-ing can come off as smug. However (and I realize this might come off as silly) I genuinely do feel a moral imperative to at least *try* to stop the spread of Internet misinformation. Even little-seeming things can have consequences when they become a belief everyone holds, which can happen really easily. Things spread really easily, and then someone just 'knows' something is true without knowing *how* they know it, and repeat it, etc etc...

I do try to contain myself, but I really wish there was some kind of mandatory Internet education class in schools where they'd teach everyone how to spot this type of thing.

I think you do have a point, but I also see a big difference between believing Politician X is secretly a puppy-kicking communist (when the Facebook user in question wouldn't be voting for Politician X anyway) versus believing that, for example, breast cancer is best cured by prayer or that Bill Gates will donate $100 to orphans if you post a picture of your credit card number.  Some of the more ??? stuff on Facebook may be eye-roll-worthy, and some of it may theoretically hurt a specific celebrity or company by driving away fans/business, but that's not really in the same league as "medical advice which will actually harm you" or "encouraging other people to get taken in by scammers."

What I've decided to do is in cases like this if it's really bugging me I go to the company/celebrity's website, find 'contact us', and send them the link w/ a note like 'I don't know if you're aware of your [brand] being used in this way. I assume this is fake, in which case you might want to look into it. I would be disappointed to learn that you support [whatever].' Ex: Dr Oz is actually suing a bunch of Facebook spammers who've been using his name and photo for fake weightloss stuff.

Most things don't rise to the level of my caring to bother, but when they do, at least I feel like something might be done about it rather than me getting pointlessly mad on facebook.