Saturday, August 07, 2004

Debunking 101

I'm receiving an increasing number of political spam email these days, urban legend spew that inevitably gets started by freepers.

These whisper campaigns can be devastating, and they are difficult to stop. But, because they are a grassroots attack, the best way to stop them is at the grassroots level.

In other words, it's not a bug, it's a feature. ;)

Freep-mail also present a GREAT opportunity to set the record straight, get the facts out to people who are clearly misinformed, show up the GOP thug tactics for what they are, and hone our own research and communications skills.

What to do when your friends send you lying email

1. Find the lies
Debunk the email with the sources listed below.

2. Send it back
Send it back to the originator, and copy his/her list.

3. Pass it on
If you have friends interested in progressive politics, send the email to them, too. Odds are high that they are receiving the same whisper campaigns, too, but they may not know where to go to debunk the lies.

4. Blog it!
Post to the blog. For example, Neil wrote an excellent debunk on an email we got about social security this week that I'll post separately.

Outstanding sources for debunking these messages:

Update 2004.08.07 SE

Here are more sites:

Politics & Science - Investigating the State of Science Under the Bush Administration

Federation of American Scientists

People for the American Way

Virginia Public Access Project - tracking state fundraising

Political Money Line - tracking federal fundraising

Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting - The National Media Watchdog Group