What would we do without Snopes? Founders Barbara and David Mikkelson are so thorough and unbiased in their fact-checking that folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand, considered by many to be one of the top experts in his field, once told National Review he wouldn’t start his own fact-checking website because “they have it all there,” he added: “I will just stick to writing books.”
On December 29, Snopes published its list of the most widely circulated urban legends of 2015. The ranking was compiled based on “frequency of access, user searches, reader e-mail, and media coverage.”
How many of these do you recognize?
Facebook Privacy Notice
1) FALSE: Posting a legal notice on your Facebook wall will protect your copyright and privacy rights.
Yup. We’ve certainly seen this one a lot this year. As Jonette wrote in October, there is absolutely no reason to copy/paste a “privacy notice” onto your wall.
Mark Zuckerberg Giveaway Hoax
2) FALSE: Mark Zuckerberg is giving away $4.5 million to Facebook users who share a “thank you” message.
For some reason, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg seems to show up a lot in social media-oriented urban legends. Another classic hoax involved an imaginary plan to play video ads on Facebook every ten minutes.
Full of Bull
3) FALSE: Red Bull and other brands of energy drink contain bull semen.
Yup, this one definitely made the rounds on social media. Look–if Red Bull really contained bull semen, they’re putting it in there for virtually no reason–and hiding it from the FDA. Pick up a can and read the ingredients; it’s that simple.
Check out the full list at Snopes.
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