Iterate and reiterate: sharing something another person made will eventually cause egg on the face because the internet is a vast repository of not-quite-right things. If people see enough of it, they forget which part isn’t right and ultimately decide everything is suspect. It evidently confers the right to claim false equivalency or worse – to lump you in with those who jump into falsity without considering how deeply. It’s one of the many ongoing lessons I’ve learned from our latest, and possibly last presidency. (I added that last part to poke at some of the Chicken Littles. I’m not saying they are wrong, though. The sky isn’t falling until it is.)
It’s easy to be blasé about it when you’re the one doing it because it’s harmless.
Trust me, fools diligently search for every available means to discount you or as a means to justify their baseless claim that everything is equally right or wrong.
If you post a picture of Abraham Lincoln with a quote of his on it, you should be sure that he said it. If someone tells you, “Hey, that quote isn’t an Abraham Lincoln quote,” don’t reply, “But it fits the spirit of the post.” That’s ego talking, not truth and honesty. You’re doing a lesser version of the same mistake as those openly sharing untrue content. The crazies see you justifying your behavior when it suits you and then shift to false equivalencies, wherein all arguments are equally obnoxious.
You’ve rubber-stamped not checking for accuracy.
If you’re doing it purposefully and to vex people, that’s another story entirely.
Two weeks ago, I had this happen twice. Both times surprised me. I was polite and offered a tongue-in-cheek easy exit for both. To my surprise, both reacted exactly like I described: they doubled down. I didn’t take it personally because I wasn’t emotionally invested in the post or its outcome. (Not being snarky there.) They did react poorly to me, though. Try as I might, a crevice formed in my opinion of them.
We’re all going to make mistakes.
If you didn’t make it or write it, you’ll make more.
And if you make one and respond angrily to its note, you’re making two mistakes when a laugh or ‘oops’ would fix it.
“As you share more content from other people, the odds of you being played or manipulated proportionally increase too.” In another life, Abraham Lincoln said that.