I recently got a Facebook post from a friend of a friend, a woman I did not know. It concerned a giant snake, a 134 foot long maneating anaconda. The ‘news’ release even had the number of citizens and animals the beast had consumed.
Such a snake has never existed, not in the 6000 year-old world of the religious crazies (do they think that Noah would have been goofy enough to let a giant maneating snake onto his ark?), nor in the 4.5 billion year-old real world. And granting the reporters that they might know the number of humans missing and presumed snake-eaten, how in the world did they know how many animals the beast had swallowed?
More than the usual swill that people post or forward without questioning, this was so transparently false that no one but a lunatic or a very unthinking person could have believed it. A quick Snopes check would have shown that these doctored photos have been around for years.
I could not comment on her fake snake, because she is not a friend of mine. But in my effort of find a way to disabuse her of her snake fantasy, I checked her home page and found it littered with lunatic statements. I have since blocked any posts from that person.
But the real issue is the gullibility of a certain segment of the populace. It is the reason all these fantastic, plainly unbelievable items keep circulating. A critic of PT Barnum, David Hannum, once said, “There’s a Sucker born every minute”. If someone offers to sell you a pig in a poke, and you buy it once, only to find out that it is really a bag of cats, why would you ever fall for it again?
Calling them out doesn’t help. I have pointed out the foolishness of these rumors and outright lies many times, but the people that fall for them keep on falling. They seem to be unable to separate truth from sheer nonsense. Between these irrational reposters and the trolls, the Internet is degenerating.