Hmmm

On my Wiki, I have a link that I used when talking about media literacy.  I call it Sites That Should Make You Go Hmmm.  It’s devoted to the notion and, for some, the awakening to the fact that not everything you read online is true.  (no kidding, you mean the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus is endangered?)

I know that many people have used the page as part of a web literacy unit with students.  That’s what it’s there for and you’re welcome to it.

Whenever I’m reading online anymore, I find that it’s more important than ever to have your BS filter locked and loaded.  Such a story hopped to my reading today.

It seems like more and more people are looking for and expecting the outrageous, the new, the exciting and they want to be on top of it.  I guess a particularly easy target are the “Apple Fanboys“.  They hand on every hint of a new product from Apple and just have this desire to be the first to break the news.  Even if they have never seen or heard of it, they’re quick to blog or vlog about how great and awesome it is and how it’s the newest and greatest thing going.  And, to their defence, Apple is noted for some incredibly innovative types of things.  I mean – roll back the clock a few years and who could imagine a telephone slash media player slash computer slash PDA?  Well, except Star Trek.

It was with great interest that I read the story “Swedish firm’s Apple hoax shows gullibility of online readers” in the Los Angeles Times.  I had to read it a couple of times just to be sure that I was reading what I thought I was reading…  Then, to verify, I had to track back to the original blog post from this Swedish Company.  “How we screwed (almost) the whole Apple community” and then to the Reddit link.  What’s unique about this is the explanation of how it was done.  To my knowledge, this was the first time such a thing was documented.

Ah, it was done in good fun and I’m sure that there was some joking around a water cooler somewhere.

The real gem from this whole story is the graphic at the bottom of the post where they plot “Perceived Level of Truth” versus “Distance from Source”.  I could see that being a very valuable discussion piece in the classroom when talking about media literacy.

Other than the use of the story for literacy terms, the whole incident did have a bit of value for the company from me.  I backed off the URL to the root to discover just what this company was and what it does.  Thankfully, Google Chrome has built-in translation features.

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