This past weekend a blogger reported the takeover of a couple of Texas border ranches by the Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas. It made it across the twitterverse in an extremely short time. This person received information from a blogger in San Diego who has done work with make-up story sensationalist Breitbart.
Now stop and think a minute, because this is a big red flag. Why would a blogger in San Diego be writing about something occurring in Texas when no one else seems to talking about it?
You can read the blogs from Diggers Realm and Examiner.com, read about the information they posted as real and breaking news, none of which is true, according to the reporters from Laredo Morning Times.
The point to make is bloggers are not news sources. Bloggers are the written word version of radio talk show hosts, the internet version of the National Inquirer and The Star. They make money by the hits to their websites. To get those hits they will sensationalize, exaggerate, make-up news and pass it off as someone doing you a favor, then go on to the next thing they can find. They get paid to spout their opinion as fact then move on to anything else.
People need to remember that just because they read something on the Internet, or it comes in an email from a friend of a friend, it is not to be taken true unless it has been validated from:
1. Several other different news sources (Rueters, AP, WP, your local TV media)
2. a source you have investigated (see above)
3. check with Snopes
Check the facts before passing info off as truth; otherwise it takes away from your credence when you do have have something important to say.