Saturday, November 21, 2015

The truth will set you free

Truer words were never spoken than when Jesus said "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." It is important for everyone to guard the truth. As a follower of Jesus, I believe it is crucial for his followers to go the extra mile in operating in the truth.

Facebook is wasteland of lies. Somewhere out there in that wasteland is a sinister lie machine, turning out vast quantities of false memes. Why do so many of them get posted on Facebook? Intellectual laziness, partly, but also because most people don't think they need to verify the truth of something if they already think it is true.

There is no truth here, just a wasteland of lies.

We naturally believe things that agree with our views. We look for things to confirm what we believe. Confirmation bias is at the root of how Facebook works. It is designed to show you more of what you want to read.  Just as in the final days preachers will tell people "what their itching ears want to hear" now Facebook shows us what our itching eyes want to see.

So in the wasteland of lies, how do you know whether to post that awesome-looking meme?  You could do what most people do and post it without caring about the truth, or you could verify it.

Here are two good and easy methods:

1-Google Reverse Image Search.  Instead of searching for an image, you search with an image.  Click on the photo and select "search google for this image. You can see for yourself where it came from. This might require sorting through a lot of links and re-posts.

2-Consult a fact checker. and are both widely used and reputable sites. If you don't like one, then use the other.

You could also simply pull a keyword or two out and research it.

The Apostle Paul praised the Bereans because they did not just take him at his word.  They tested his words against the scriptures to see if they were true. 

Truth matters. The truth will set you free.

Below is a graveyard of false memes drawn from the wasteland of lies, along with a simple way of disproving them.

Google his name, he has a Wiki.
Nidal Hassan is actually a natural-born US citizen born in Arlington, Virginia.  This one takes ten seconds.  He is infamous, and has a Wiki.  Google his name and read the Wiki.

Google Reverse Image Search
This one has no key words, and no famous people in it.  While it might otherwise be impossible to bust this lie, Google Reverse Image Search makes this one a snap.  Liars usually steal their photos, it turns out. In this case these photos were taken years ago in Australia.

Keywords for a fact checker
This false meme has enough key words in it for an easy search on a fact checker. A quick search on with the keywords "ISIS flag Germany" reveals that the photo is from 2012, before there was an ISIS.  Black flags are common in the Muslim world, and have different messages written on them.

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