Now THAT burns!
Chances are over the past two years you’ve heard about “fake news” just about everywhere you turn.
From the news to social media to our very own friends and family, fake news is rampant, and whether or not it’s intentional (based on your source), it’s still doing harm. One of the dangers of being connected to the internet at any second is that we rush to read a headline and jump to conclusions, or we read a line of what someone has posted and then fill in the blanks for ourselves. This is not how news should be disseminated or understood, but it is how we live today, always in a rush, always sharing and accepting the first thing we hear that sounds plausible and acceptable to us.
Even though we keep hearing about how news stations and websites can’t be trusted, one of the worst places for the proliferation of fake news is on social media. Whether from friends or seemingly accredited sources, the best weapon we have to fight this is our own common sense, or at least the effort that goes into reading an entire article and double checking any sources, data, and claims before accepting it as fact.
We all know how those pesky friends from high school can be on social media, but when one woman tried spread lies about cancer, her Facebook friend was NOT having it. Read her epic clapback.
Life’s a Beach
The whole thing started innocently enough.
Whether you love or loathe cute couples pics on Facebook and other social media, they are here to stay. When this couple shared their beach day photos on Facebook, they were playful and down to earth. Whoever shared it wrote, “this is my smug ‘I’m definitely not going to get sunburned today’ look. flash forward to 3 hours later and I had the chills from being so burned. wear SPF< kids."
As one of the palest people on the planet (my dermatologist once told me never ever to take off my shirt where sunlight is present. Thanks, doc…), I appreciate this post and PSA. But clearly, not everybody was so ready to accept their helpful advice.
“Just trying to inform”
Now let’s get one thing straight: The comments section on Facebook or any other social media is a dark and dangerous place. While there is the VERY RARE genuine compliment or constructive addition to a topic, the truth is that comment sections very quickly turn into arguments among trolls or depressing situations where elderly family members often end up getting TMI way too fast.
Long story short, leave it to commenters to ruin a nice post.
In this case, as soon as the beach picture went up, one woman* felt the need to write, “SPF causes cancer! Try a beach umbrella [kissy face].”
Stop right there. Stop everything. Through this comment alone, what was once a nice picture rapidly turned into a hotbed for debate. And debate they did.
20 minutes later, some good Samaritan came back at the cancer claim writing, “Well that’s just empirically not true.”
The original commenter and cancer conspiracy theorist wasn’t having it, and responded, “Do some research of your own before you accuse people of not speaking the truth please. Just trying to inform. Thanks.”
It was on.
(* – unsure of the names of these people, we are assuming the commenters here are women)
Nobody likes seeing obviously fake news and conspiracy theories spread on Facebook, especially when their claims start to overshadow what all started as a cute picture of a couple on the beach.
Unwilling to put up being called a liar (indeed, for calling out a liar), the second commenter clapped backs with the cold hard facts. Brace yourself. “First of all, SPF is a unit of measure. This is like saying that millimeters cause drowning. But you want research? Fine.”
“The claim that more people who use sunscreen develop melanoma is based on a study that tracked sun exposure and sunscreen use in nearly 1500 people over a span of two years. The results did show that those who used sunscreen were more likely to develop melanoma, but there was a massive caveat left out: The media sun protection factor (SPF) was 6 (the CDC recommends SPF 15 or higher) and those who used sunscreen the most spent considerably more time in the sun than those who rarely use sunscreen.
“A common ingredient in sunscreens is oxybenzone […] However, there haven’t been any studies to show that this chemical […] causes cancer, even when given at doses much higher than usual.
“The American Society for Dermatological Surgery recommends sunscreen. The National Cancer Institute recommends sunscreen. The World Health Association recommends sunscreen. The National Institute of Health recommends sunscreen. The Skin Cancer Foundation, in a meta-analysis of every study between 1966 and 2003, ‘found no evidence that sunscreen increases melanoma risk.”
She went on, and implored the original troll to black up her own ridiculous claims in the future. And for all of us third parties reading the exchange, DAMN, that felt good!
Read more about sunscreen and skin cancer here and SHARE this article with someone who loves social media karma!