This guide will help you avoid hoaxes while becoming a more critical thinker.
- Step 1. Reject the narrative.
- Step 2. Examine the process.
- Step 3. Fact-check (if possible).
Step 1. Reject the narrative.
If hate crimes are common in America, why are there so many hate crime hoaxes?
BlackLivesMatter is sending death threats to itself and other students.
ELIZABETH – A self-proclaimed activist has admitted to posting a series of racially threatening Twitter messages targeting students at Kean University last fall. Kayla McKelvey, 25, of Union Township, pleaded guilty to a charge of creating a false public alarm.
College professors are claiming they are victims of racist policing.
Dashcam video was released Thursday showing the cordial arrest of a black Princeton professor during a traffic stop, about which the academic took to social media to say that race was a factor in how she was treated by arresting officers.
Muslims are burning down their own mosques.
Using surveillance video from other area businesses to identify the arsonist, Gary Nathaniel Moore, 37, was arrested and charged with starting the Christmas Day fire that devastated a Houston, Texas mosque. Moore is a devout Muslim who attended this same mosque for years, praying up to five times a day every day of the week.
Candid media pictures are actually being staged by activist groups and coordinated with the mainstream media.
WASHINGTON – Sophie Cruz’s brief encounter with Pope Francis during his parade in Washington this week appeared to be the kind of spontaneous moment that is so endearing about this pope: an initially hesitant young child wrapping an arm around his neck as he offers a kiss and a blessing.
But for 5-year-old Sophie, the moment unfolded as perfectly as it was scripted by members of a coalition of Los Angeles-based immigration rights groups.
UPDATE: Less than an hour later, this media hoax appears. This is a clear case of a media coordinating with someone to feed Obama “feel good stories.”
— Mike Cernovich ?? (@Cernovich) April 24, 2016
>young British Pakistani
>came out as non-binary
>while asking about North Carolina's bathroom bill
Totally NOT a media plant.
— Mike Cernovich ?? (@Cernovich) April 24, 2016
Feminists who lose debates claim they are receiving rape threats online.
Of the 567 tweets we examined, many were supportive. Many, of course, challenge her and discuss her debate performance. We found no instances of outright misogyny, though there were of course plenty of boisterous comments and lots of criticism of Grossman’s arguments. There were a few obliging comments about her looks, as there were about mine, but I presume Grossman is mature and sensible enough to take compliments as intended.
Video game activists falsely accuse prosecutors not investigating death threats against them.
Ohio Attorney: Brianna Wu ‘Wasted Time and Resources’ over #GamerGate
The office of Ron O’Brien, prosecuting attorney for Columbus, Ohio, was deluged with emails and phonecalls that “wasted time and resources” following an online campaign whipped up by Brianna Wu, a controversial video game developer.
The same activist claimed to have a video of a GamerGate supporter showing up at one of her talks. Where is the video?
— Mike Cernovich ?? (@Cernovich) May 21, 2015
And there is of course mattress girl, Duke lacrosse, and the Rolling Stone/University of Virginia rape hoax.
Want more hoaxes?
- The Biggest, Dumbest Race Hoaxes And Fake Hate Crimes On Campus In 2015
- Eleven Hate-Crime Hoaxes.
- Clock Boy was a hoax.
- Michelle Fields was a hoaxer.
- The Case of the Whole Foods Gay Cake.
If the narrative were true, we’d have enough real hate crime victims out there. People wouldn’t have to create hoaxes.
Step 2. Examine the process. Ask: How could this have happened?
Imagine you read an article that says, “This gay couple had a bigoted slur written on a receipt by their waiter.”
Examine what you know about human beings.
When is the last time a waiter said anything rude to you or anyone else? People are terrified of losing their jobs.
If the waiter wrote that message on the receipt, she’d be fired. Do people risk their jobs to insult someone?
Writing a slur on a person’s receipt (or on their Whole Foods cake) is a bit confrontational, isn’t it. What would happen if the person saw that hateful message? Do people – especially people who need to work a job as a waiter or server – want to start a fight at work?
Always look at the process behind what happens and you’ll see that the hate crime hoaxes make no sense.
Examine the process behind the gay whole Foods cake hoax.
- You’re at your job making $12 an hour at Whole Foods, in Austin, Texas, which has one of the highest gay populations in the U.S.
- A customer requests you to write, “Love wins,” on a cake.
- In one of the gayest cities in the world, at one of the most gay-friendly stores in the world, you write, “Love wins, FAG.”
Are people ready to be fired from their jobs for starting a fight with a customer by calling them a slur? Where are these people?
Step 3. Fact check (if possible).
The next step is to fact check. People will say, “Oh man, Trump supporters have been calling me nasty names on Twitter!”
Run a search of their notifications on Twitter user the term they say others are using with to:username.
For example, wannabe news maker Montel Williams accused Donald Trump’s supporters of dropping n-bombs left and right. I ran a search. Hoax.
— Mike Cernovich ?? (@Cernovich) December 23, 2015
Bonus: Check your confirmation bias.
How badly do you want the story to be true?
If a story proves that your view of the world is righteous and true, step back for a second. Demand even more evidence that you might otherwise want to see.
Some Trump supporters fell for this hoax: “BREAKING: Black Trump supporter shot and killed by Chicago protesters.”
While no one wants a black Trump supporter to die, isn’t that story a bit much?
People want Trump to have black supporters, because that counters the media narrative that Trump is racist.
And while you don’t want anyone to die, boy it sure felt good to say, “LOOK! These are actually the bad guys.”
Mindset is critical thinking.
Spotting hoaxes is the product of my analytical mind
Start living life more consciously. Examine your biases about the world. Question the news, and even more, question yourself.
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