My ad for Snopes

I have many personal frustrations when I look at Facebook, today’s is mislabeled pictures. I have a strong desire to comment with (mostly Snopes) links on many many posts. My desire to not piss people off generally wins, and for some reason people do not like it when one publicly points out their erroneous information. What is a girl to do with all that pent up frustration? Write a blog, I suppose.

OK, back to the actual frustration: mislabeled pictures. More often than not I see and research (mostly via Snopes) pictures with a heartbreaking story pushing a particular agenda (I would like to add that I do not care what the agenda is, liberal/conservative/whatever, just don’t label pictures as something they are not). Recent examples:

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Brazilian Kayapo chief crying over building of a dam (He is crying over being reunited with a family member)
Is the dam a bad thing? I have no idea. Maybe I will research it more, maybe not. It might be a good cause, but I will forever link it in my mind to the fact that someone put this picture with this story in order to emotionally mislead me to their cause.

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Bullfighter crying over realization of inhumanity of bullfighting (He was making himself vulnerable to the bull in a fight. He did start campaigning against bullfighting after he was gored and paralyzed)
Is bullfighting inhumane? It probably sucks for the bull. Mostly I just do not get why it even appeals to anyone (unless it is for the clothing, then I totally get it). What I do know is that, again, an emotionally charged picture is being used to direct my morality. I find it challenging enough to learn about a topic and find where my personal morality lies without the deception.

Beyond the ‘mislabeled for a cause’ pictures are the ‘mislabeled for attention’ images:

Most popular images from hurricane Sandy. (The storm was terrible, why exaggerate?)
Sharks in New Jersey? Really people?

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Pictures of small creatures in nature doing cute things. (Less cute when someone points out how they were posed)

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I had some serious doubts about the frog using a leaf as an umbrella picture. Thanks to boingboing for pointing me to the critique.

While writing this I have been thinking about why I care, because on a blog I think one has to wrap things up in the end (as opposed to in conversation where I generally just get interrupted and the conversation moves elsewhere and I am spared this summing up). I think the reason is complicated, but simplified into the fact that I believe being better informed on any particular thing is…better. Because many well informed people use these tricks to convince people of their cause I end with my not trusting any information from that source, and I suspect that there is often good information I am then missing.

OK, done with this rant for the time being. Done with my first blog post. Hopefully my thinking will be better written in the future, with less use of the word ‘I’ (I have a sneaking suspicion that is often called bad writing). TTFN

Ps-hi Jill, I think you are the only one who knows this is here for now. Advice and more info on the working of WordPress are in order soon!

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