Monday, May 26, 2008

How The Internet Works

I received an interesting email from my SIL today. It contained a list titled "Israel's Achievements In The First Months Of 2008" and was quite an impressive list. The final sentence of the posting read "In contrast to the efforts of tiny Israel to make contributions to the world so as to better mankind, one has to ask what have those who have strived to eliminate Israel from the face of the earth done other than to create hate and bloodshed." Good question.

Before I pass email on to others, I usually check with Snopes to see if the information is accurate. In this case there was no entry in snopes so I googled the title and found several other entries. In the list of matches there was also one that had the year 2007 in the title instead of 2008 so I looked around some more. Eventually I found this.

The last item in the 2007 list refers to Norway's boycott of Israeli goods, just as the 2008 list does, but it includes a link to the story about the boycott.

I'm thinking someone read one of the 2007 postings and thought it would be good to pass the information on again. Perhaps they thought people wouldn't pay as much attention if the news seemed "old" so they put a 2008 date on it. The 2007 posting says the article was attributed to "Allan E. Mallenbaum, the founder and Chairman of the Jewish Survival Legion" while the list I got in email is anonymous and some of the other postings attribute it to "Joshua J. Adler".

Allan Mallenbaum is credited in other articles as Chairman of the Rosa Robota Foundation and as Chairman of the Jewish Survival Legion. There is a Joshua J. Adler who contributed to Jerusalem Post as recently as March 2007. Whether either is the author of the list isn't clear.

The point? I find it interesting how information traverses the internet and so when I didn't find any reference on snopes, I tried to to see if I could track the origin of the article. Ultimately I failed, but I had fun trying. If I were working for snopes, I'd indicate the information in the article is correct but the author is unknown.


JohnnyB said...

When the information passes through those internet tubes, who knows where it will come out? Al Gore's Information Superhighway is amazing. But why not. I learned on the internets that Al Gore was born right after aliens landed in New Mexico. Coincidence? Send this to 5 people in the next ten minutes and you'l find out

Anonymous said...

I got the same email and was also trying to confirm it - I also didn't see anything on snopes and then googled it and found your blog - Thanks for doing the research for me.