Saturday, June 16, 2012

This Took Literally Ten Seconds To Factcheck

Something just showed up on my Facebook feed where someone is spreading the word that if you are at an ATM machine, and someone comes up to you and puts a gun to your head, you can call the cops by punching in your PIN number backwards. You get your money, everything proceeds as normal until the cops show up.

I was immediately pretty skeptical and was about to go have a look and make sure that my hunch was right, maybe get an article out of it. But the chance at a substantial article was pretty quickly scuttled when, by the time I had typed in 'pin n' on Google, it AutoCompleted on the first try as 'pin number backwards'.

And this Snopes article teeing off on the claim was the very first result.

Let me rephrase that: factchecking this claim on my end required one trip to Google, four typed letters, one use of the space bar, and two clicks of the mouse. The mouse wheel was not required. Come on, people. The slightest bit of skepticism could have prevented this from showing up on my feed. The slightest little bit. The tiniest little bit of desire to get confirmation beyond 'hey guys did you hear'. A child could have done that factcheck. My three-year-old nephew can type his own name by now and that's five whole entire letters. He could have done this.

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