People love to share. Especially over the internet. Regardless of whether or not the information being passed around is valid, there will never be a shortage of people passing it around as cold, hard truth.
With social media and messaging applications becoming a favourite for the dissemination of political information, those attempting to spread these information are aware that many are too lazy to read lengthy articles.
The answer to this, is pictures, with quotes printed on them.
The problem with this method is that many refuse to check the validity of the quotes being shared.
A simple example is a picture of Prime Minister Najib Razak, being shared on social media recently, that is attached with a quote that he had allegedly uttered in February 2012.
“Saya jamin harga minyak RON 95 tidak akan naik, tidak kira harga pasaran minyak naik ataupun turun. Kerajaan akan terus bantu rakyat.” (I guarantee the price for RON 95 fuel will not go up, regardless of the market price. The government will continue to help the rakyat.)
A text watermark on the picture reads: “Hosted by Sentiasapanas.com”.
A check on Twitter found that one Twitter account @AbdMalekHussin that had shared the picture, already garnered more than 1,000 retweets since it was posted on April 27.
The photo was posted by the user alongside his Twitter update on the oil prices in April this year, in which the price for RON 95 went up for three weeks in a row beginning April 6.
The insinuation? Perhaps the most obvious one, in light of the alleged quote, is that Najib has not fulfilled his promise.
However, a simple check on the internet would show that the quote was taken out of context.
In February 2012, Najib promised that the price for RON 95, which is widely used by vehicle owners, will be maintained in the near future despite facing global oil price increase. (Source: Utusan Malaysia).
At that time, fuel subsidy was still in effect. This means, using the quote in the current situation is irresponsible. The picture had also failed to include the words ‘dalam masa terdekat‘ (in the near future).
The point here is, no matter how badly you want to share information you come across on the internet, always make sure to check its validity first.
Do not become fools, spreading your idiocy to more fools.