I first found out about “the” fact checking website on the internet years ago. Friends would send me politically charged stories that just seemed too good to be true. They almost always turned out to be as I had figured: made-up stories with perhaps some element of truth and the rest wishes and perhaps a down-right lie or two – much like “news articles” you might read in tabloids near the check-out stands at grocery stores. People often want to believe something so much they suspend common sense and go with their heart. People will follow their hearts down almost any path that promises them agreement with something they already believe.
The website I visited before was the Urban Legends Reference pages, which was the forerunner of Snopes.com. Some people call me a Social Media Provocateur . . . well, if you check that out on Snopes you might find that I am the only one who calls me that, but so what? I post on Facebook all the time, but try to assert only what I know to be true, which means I either track down informative articles from known news sources or check statement details on Snopes.
In October I read an article in the Seattle Times about David Mikkelson, the driving force behind Snopes, who lives in Tacoma. A day or two later I read an article about Mikkelson in the The News Tribune. As soon as I saw the Seattle article I contacted the Snopes organization asking about the chances of David Mikkelson speaking in Tacoma. After checking available dates, the Rotary Club of Tacoma #8 Program Chair Hunter George was able to book David Mikkelson as the program for the Rotary meeting at the Tacoma Yacht Club on February 28th. Mikkelson’s program will be mostly Q&A, so it should be a lively affair. Rotarians and interested members of the community who would like to attend should contact the Rotary office: 253-473-7723.
“The Four-Way Test* of the things we think, say or do is a test used by Rotarians world-wide as a moral code for personal and business relationships. The test can be applied to almost any aspect of life. The test was scripted by Herbert J. Taylor an American from Chicago as he set out to save the Club Aluminum Products Distribution Company from bankruptcy. It was later adopted by Rotary International, the global federation of Rotary service clubs.” – Wikipedia
*The first question of The Four Way Test: Is it the truth?