Don’t Believe Everything You Read!!!

May 5, 2010

One of things about the Internet which isn’t so good is the ease with which misinformation is spread.  I grew up with the adage “Don’t believe everything you hear OR read”.  That should be printed above every web page.

Sample–and I refrain from naming the author–but this appeared in a blog sponsored by a

Note the Headline. See??

newspaper owned by a large chain:  …cast-iron is much healthier than non-stick cookware, which can release carcinogenic compounds at high temperatures. The author is expressing an opinion (about cast iron), but then expresses another opinion backed with a “fact” which is simply untrue.

If you place a nonstick skillet on high on your stove, walk away and let it get to 600, 700 or 800 degrees the polymers in the nonstick will certainly burn and smoke and smell.  There is absolutely no evidence anywhere or from any source which is credible that the fumes are cancer-causing.  Yet this canard keeps popping up on the Internet, repeated ad nauseum by people who have no training in fact checking or attribution for their statements.

Then there’s the site in which a “doctor” lists all types of cookware and describes the supposed health consequences of each of them…all dire to hear him tell it.  At the end  you find the good doctor actually sells the ONLY cookware in the world that is entirely safe, he asserts.

Good souls without critical discrimination read such claptrap and respond to it with their pocketbooks or their minds, continue to circulate such miss-information.  A quick visit to the website Snopes shows the plethora of rumors that circulate supposed as fiction.  At least once a week I receive from someone that I know an urgent communique–the government is assembling a private army to enforce Obama-care; Churches are losing their tax-exempt status; LSD is being placed on postage stamps.  The list goes on and on.

It used to be when people published false information they could expect legal action, or at least a threatening letter from a lawyer.  It seems today the pickings are much greater in other avenues of legal-dom, to the detriment of the public’s right to know the “truth”.