Monday, January 07, 2008

Please, Stop Spreading Lies!

On the Internet, I routinely come across outlandish alarming stories. A few of them I research. Having found many untruths, when something sounds outlandish, I take it with a grain of salt and assume it is untrue. Some of these “urban myths” have been around since before the Internet, such as the story that Proctor and Gamble’s is a satanic corporation and the symbols of Satanism are included in their corporate loco.
IT IS NOT TRUE. Just today I read this in a Yahoo chat group:

For all you Coffee lovers,

Recently Marines in Iraq wrote to Starbucks because they wanted to let them
know how much they liked their coffees and to request that they send some of it
to the troops there. Starbucks replied, telling the marines thank you for their
support of their business, but that Starbucks does not support the war, nor
anyone in it, and that they would not send the troops their brand of coffee. So
as not to offend Starbucks, maybe we should not support them by buying any of
their products! I feel we should get this out in the open. I know this war might
not be very popular
with some folks, but that doesn't mean we don't support
the boys on the
ground fighting street-to-street and house-to-house. If you
feel the same as
I do then pass this along, or you an discard it and no one
will never know.

Thanks very much for your support. I know you'll all be there again when I
deploy once more.

Semper Fidelis. Sgt. Howard C. Wright

1st Force Recon Co

1st Plt PLT

THIS IS NOT TRUE. It is made up. (To read the truth behind this myth see the following link: Starbucks )

I have a relative who is a sweet person, a good Christian and is active in her church. I was recently included in group email she sent out. It read:

Subject: Removal of Joel Osteen and other pastors
Christians, stand up
and be counted. We cannot let this happen.

Dr. Dobson is going on
to urge every Christian to get involved. I hope you will sign and
forward to all
your family and friends:

An organization has been granted a Federal Hearing on the same subject by the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington , D.C. Their petition,
Number 2493, would ultimately pave the way to stop the reading of the gospel
our Lord and Savior, on the airwaves of America . They got 287,000
signatures to
back their stand! If this attempt is successful, all Sunday
worship services
being broadcast on the radio or by television will be
This group is
also campaigning to remove all Christmas programs
and Christmas carols from
public schools!

Fortunately for our First Amendment freedom and unfortunately for all the good people spreading this rumor, this is not true. Variations of this story have been floating around for years, and the FCC routinely get petitions on this topic. Here are the facts about this hoax in a nutshell, as reported in Urban Legend: In 1974, Jeremy Lansman and Lorenzo Milam petitioned the FCC to regulate the assignment of broadcasting licenses to religious groups for educational use. Their petition, number RM 2493, was heard and dismissed by the FCC in 1975. Nevertheless, rumors about it continue to circulate. Lansman and Milam's intentions have been misinterpreted as being against religious programming in general. Instead, they were concerned that radio and television licenses reserved for educational use would be hoarded and used by religious groups for non-educational purposes.

To their credit the NRB, a trade group which represents religious broadcasters, has also tried to kill the rumor and calls it a hoax on their web site. The rumor continues to circulate. (See: NRB)

Please do not believe everything you read. Be skeptical. Newspapers print untruths also, but at least they have fact checkers. Rumors fly like wildfire around the Internet. Please do not repeat rumors. I have listed several sites for fact-checking in the side bar to the left of this article (See: Just the facts, Ma’am). Before you sign a petition or send a frantic alert to your mailing list, make sure it is the truth.

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