Interesting article about Snopes, FactCheck.org, and similar sites. Why do these untrue rumors spread so widely? “Rumors are a great source of comfort for people,” according to one of the Snopes founders.
“The ‘news’ that is not fit to print gets through to people anyway these days, through 24-hour cable gasbags, partisan talk radio hosts and chain e-mails, blogs and Web sites such as WorldNetDaily or Daily Kos,” he [FactCheck.org director] said in an e-mail message. “What readers need now, we find, are honest referees who can help ordinary readers sort out fact from fiction.”
“People get an e-mail or a photograph and they spot one little thing that doesn’t look right, and they declare the whole thing fake,” [the other Snopes founder] said. “That’s just as bad as being gullible in a lot of senses.”