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Don’t Believe Obama or Palin E-Mail Rumors

The Urban Legend Pages at www.snopes.com should be your first stop whenever you get an e-mail asserting something weird. Anytime anyone sends you an e-mail that’s been forwarded multiple times and invites you to do the same, STOP* and check out the Urban Legend Pages.

This is particularly good advice when receiving e-mails that deal with politicians seen as polarizing figures such as former Governor Palin or President Obama+. I went to their respective pages and counted the number of collected e-mail rumors that were unambiguously true vs the total number of rumors. Here’s what I found:

President Obama – 8 unambiguously true rumors out of 74

Governor Palin – 1 unambiguously true rumor out of 10

In both cases, nine out of 10 e-mails about the politician turn out to be partly to completely false. I don’t think that’s worth passing on, do you?

*Unless it’s cute pictures of animals or other content that doesn’t seem to be a rumor.

+I include President Obama as a polarizing figure not because I think he goes out of his way to spread division, as does Governor Palin, but because a large number of people in this country appear to have chosen to hate him no matter what he says or does. People seem to either really like him or think he’s the Muslim antichrist.

Note: Although this post appears on December 12, 2009, I actually wrote this post on December 5th, so there may be even more rumors about either candidate by the time you read this.

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