Thursday, November 08, 2007

Un-Factoid of the Week

So, you may remember a little ways back, I posted a Factoid of the Week, taken from, claiming that a nursery rhyme was once used to recruit pirates. This story was marked as "True", on the site.

For those who don't know, Snopes is a website, whose operators take urban legends and research them in order to debunk them, or prove them true. A green dot indicates a true legend, a red indicates a false one, and then there's indeterminable and half-truths and what not.

Well, I recently ran into these two headlines, also marked true one Snopes:

Urban legends TV show falls for joke about Blackbeard's using a nursery rhyme to recruit fellow pirates.


Urban Myth board game falls for joke about Blackbeard's using a nursery rhyme to recruit fellow pirates.

These two articles basically explain how that story is BS, manufactured by Snopes themselves, in order to catch people falling for "false authority syndrome". So they created several stories, intended to be so absurd as to raise suspicion and have the reader doubt it. In my defense, however, I just picked one involving pirates that had a green dot next to it.

At the time that I found this story, it was in a "pirates" category, which is now non-existent. It now resides in a section marked, "The Repository of Lost Legends", or TRoLL. In this section, I found another story; this one involving the Titanic and a silent version of the film, The Poseidon Adventure. This particular story was also featured in a Factoid of the Week.

That one did raise some flags in my mind as to the validity of an onboard movie on the Titanic. The immersion of information surrounding it, however, created the illusion of research and fact, such as the showing times of the film, how it was fifteen minutes in length, and only showed to the middle class, etc.

I just did some research while writing the above paragraph, and found that it is possible that they showed couple minute silent films aboard the Titanic, as this type of film has been available since the late 1800's, however, no information concerning whether they did infact show these films onboard.

Anyways, I've decided that Factoid of the Week, from now on, will be an urban legend segment, as opposed to a true fact segment. I'll do further research than Snopes and deem the legend true or false.

1 comment:

Curtis Sutton said...

Hey man,
You can find info on links on the Blogger help page. I'm pretty html illiterate, and that's where I got all my info.