Do you ever sign into Facebook or another social network and see all of your friends sharing a story that seems too good to be true? Remember reading about that story when Samsung paid off over a billion dollar judgment to Apple in a patent infringement lawsuit entirely in nickels? People lost their minds and shared it. The story said that 30 dump trucks full of nickels were delivered to Apple. It sounded absurd because of the sheer amount of nickels that would be required to do that (it would take 2,755 trucks), and because doing that would cost a fortune. Well, this story about a woman being found after seven years on a deserted island is equally fake. Via International Business Times:
Posted on News-Hound.org, the story claims Sheridan left Liverpool, England, in 2007 with two friends to sail to Hawaii, but a storm in the Panama Canal damaged their boat and killed her friends while Sheridan drifted for 17 days before waking up on an island. According to the story, Gemma made an “SOS” sign on the beach that had been picked up by Google Earth, which led to her rescue.
According to the website, Gemma happened to wake up one day to hear a plane flying overhead and dropped a small package. A radio was inside, and a voice on the other end said, “Some kid from Minnesota found your SOS sign on Google Earth.” It should be noted that the story has not appeared on any reliable news websites.
Yeah, just reading the initial story is ridiculous. She was just napping and a package floated down? Nah, nope, not gonna happen. Too outrageous. The SOS photo was just from a 2010 satellite photo from Kyrgyzstan.
But as the conspiracy theory and rumor-debunking website Waffles at Noon noted Wednesday, the story is rife with indications that it is fake. According to Waffles at Noon, the Google Earth image of the purported deserted island “SOS” sign is actually a 2010 satellite photo from Kyrgyzstan. The picture appears in a story on Amnesty International’s blog.
What to take away from this story is to not immediately believe everything posted on Facebook, because people want incredible stories without evidence just to get some ‘Likes.’ What other stories did this site believe and share from this website?
The site also tried to fool web users in January, when it “reported” that a planetary alignment that counteracted Earth’s gravity made everyone weightless for five minutes, according to About.com’s Urban Legends.
If you believed that, there is probably no hope for you. At least the Samsung story has a lawsuit behind it.