How do I know so many of these are fake? Well, sites like Snopes.com help a lot. But you'll notice a lot of these will never pin down a source. Someone send you one of those fake Amber Alerts I just mentioned? Do a search of the name. I've done a couple and found someone had just taken a picture from a real news story that happened years ago and added fake details to it. You keep seeing those posts which say 'Today is the day Marty McFly went forward in time in Back to the Future?' Fake. Photoshopped. Watch the movie and check it out!
I think there are two reasons this really bothers me. First, I go to the Internet for information all the time. But I can't trust most of the things I read. I have to cross-check dozens of sites before I can find a satisfactory answer to a lot of questions. But most of all, I know someone must have originated these falsehoods. A few may be honest mistakes, but some (ie fake Amber alerts) must be real attempts at deception. I do not understand it. These get spread and forwarded, but do the people who start them get money or prizes based on the amount of hits and likes they get? If so, why not use information that is both interesting and true? A lot of true things are interesting. A lot of people said correctly credited quotes. Why all the fake stuff? Why do you want people to think today is the day Marty McFly went to the future? It doesn't make sense. If someone can explain the rationale behind this I'll give you a cookie.
I don't really have a point to this post, but I do have a request. Before you forward an email or 'like' a post, check it out. Search until you find a source. If nobody can tell you when and where Bob Marley said:
'If she's amazing, she won't be easy. If she's easy, she won't be amazing. If she's worth it, you wont give up. If you give up, you're not worthy. ... Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.'
-then don't 'like' it or forward it until you can source it. Or, at least, don't tell me it was Bob Marley who said it until you can tell me where and when. Did he write it in a book? Is it a lyric of a song he wrote?
Anyways I guess I'm taking a bit of a hard line on this. I know these aren't important truths I'm talking about (mostly). But it's hard to have faith in people's explanations of larger truths when even the little ones don't get transmitted correctly.
UPDATE: The article through the link below gives a little more info on how to spot and avoid fraudulent Facebook posts.