Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Circulating Nonsense

The disinformation super-highway has done it again.

People are circulating an article with the headline "Civil War museum closed, Confederate artifacts burned" in complete seriousness. The first line of the article, visible in the Facebook post, is:
"On the heels of the Confederate flag controversy, the City Council of Harrisburg voted to permanently close the doors of the Civil War Museum last week."
Some of the comments from the thread on Facebook where I saw it include the following:
  • "And all those other times when people decided to burn / erase history and artifacts from the past: How did that turn out? Did it ever turn out good?"
  • "In the tradition of the Taliban, ISIS, Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union and the Red Chinese Cultural Revolution to just go back 90 years or so... and just to name a few... statists are insane."
  • "Rewriting history is classic Soviet behavior."
  • "Go authoritarian fascism"
When I looked at the headline, I immediately suspected that the article was a hoax. Do people really swallow such an absurd headline with no checking at all?

It took me less than ten seconds to find the website of the The National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, PA. Apparently the article has been getting shared a lot, because they had this statement on the home page.
In light of the situation in the current press, The National Civil War Museum has issued the following statement:
The Board of Directors of The National Civil War Museum have no intentions of closing the museum and we will be conducting business as usual.
The post links to a site called "The People's Cube" which looks like a troll site. Seriously, just look at it for a second and it's obvious.

How foolish have we become that we accept such a blatant troll article at face value?

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