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Jan 23

Why do you believe what you read on the Internet?

The internet is a great place to do research and find out about things. I have used it on many occasions to look something up, find out how to do something, or just get lost jumping from one news article to another. You can basically type anything you are interested into Google and out pops a bunch of links, usually listing exactly what you are looking for in a short period of time. Some of the things on the internet are written by legitimate new organizations, and can be a great source of information. Many people assume, if it is news coming from a news organization, it must be true! Unfortunately this is far from reality.  Many of these news organizations are profit driven and have a strong bias.

The Internet has also changed the news as we know it. The internet gives us news instantly. Within minutes a news story breaks and is posted on all around the world. Within hours, it is tweeted and re-tweeted. It used to take a day for news to hit the newspapers and get delivered to our door. Because of this delay, there would be plenty of time for fact checking. An alarming trend today is that some news organizations are so careless and eager to get a good story on the internet, that fact checking has become a thing of the past. News organizations depend on these stimulus seeking readers to go to their site so they can make money off the ads. What is worse is that many people read these articles on the internet and believe them to be true.

Sadly, the same goes with people and businesses you can Google search. One thing that I find quite disturbing is that some of things you read online can be completely fictitious. Anybody has the ability to write something about anybody and post it online and it is out there. Burned into our internet caches and forever etched in stone it seems. I have read many one sided articles and opinions about people, which can easily ruin the reputation of an individual without having any merit to it. Many companies have the same problem. Some examples of this http://www.ripoffreport.com , http://scamfraudalert.wordpress.com, http://www.fraudwatchers.org, http://complaintwire.org, and others. These “consumer” protection sites are nothing but modern day gang mafia style extortion sites. It would be great if these reports had some legitimate fact checking, but unfortunately, they are for profit, much as news organizations today and are not to be trusted.

Here is how it works:

–        A competitor of yours decides to try to put you out of business because you are a thorn in his side.

–        Competitor then decides to write a dirty article about your company and complain to these consumer fraud sites posing as a ripped off consumer.

–        The fictitious story gets published on these consumer sites trying to “warn” people.

–        Your company and personal name are posted and highly ranked as a Google search and now ruining your reputation.

–        In order to get your business and/or name cleared, you must pay a large sum of money.

Here, your competitor wins, because he has faked a consumer report to scare away new customers. Also, these so called “Consumer Protection” websites win, because they know you will try to clear your name and pay their extortion fees to post a “rebuttal” or to have the report removed. I find this comparable to the neighborhood mafia thug who you have to pay “protection” money to keep your business in “good terms”.

So next time you read an article on the Internet, think twice about the “source” before you believe it!

-Anonymous 😉

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