This is why many of the messages you get prove we are...

This is why many of the messages you get prove we are in a post-truth world


The Nigerian Immigration service did not trust their lives in a salt bath
We have all received them before, or know someone who has. An innocuous WhatsApp message sent a from a well-meaning person espousing some hitherto unknown life changing fact.
Okay, maybe it extends far beyond WhatsApp’s reaches but the Facebook-owned messaging platform seems to be the worst culprit.
But it is only a simple message, what harm could it cause? In itself, not much; but as part of a wider trend, it portends of something more insidious.
The last video I received on WhatsApp was of a guy dressed in a Chelsea jersey trying to prove that drinking water or any liquid with ice is bad for you and will make your insides coagulate like whisked eggs.
He tried to show this by laying out three glasses, one filled with ice cubes, one with lukewarm water and the third with warm water. He then proceeded to add a little oil to each of the three glasses and stir the contents.
The mixture in the ice cube glass forms a thick slurry and the unknown man turns to the camera to explain that is what happens to your stomach when you drink anything with ice.
Let’s leave aside the sheer stupidity of the argument for a bit. The very fact that I received the video shows that someone somewhere believed the man’s claims so much that they thought it worthy to share. That is the scary bit.
That a man with no obvious medical qualifications feels confident enough to offer medical advice and his advice is taken for the truth without any questioning.
And this medical advice has somehow escaped the attention of the millions of qualified doctors and dieticians in the entire world.
It is easy to blame social media for it all. After all without social media, it would be very difficult for the video to get to me.
But in the early days of the Internet, there were such things as chain emails, that passed from email inbox to email inbox containing all sorts of fantastic and unfounded stories, and urged the receiver to pass it on the next nth number of people unless a named deity wouldn’t shower his or her blessings on you.
Those were pretty harmless at first, until they started being used as a Trojan horse in the true sense of the word for viruses and other malware. And it appears history is repeating itself.
A typically

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