Urban Myths and Legends

(Feb 24, 2009) Yesterday, I happily “retweeted” a message that, in itself, was a retweet. (Did you follow that? I forwarded a twitter message that had been forwarded to me.) The tweet (message) said

“RT @jimholincheck RT @ThomasCrampton: HK co just laidoff with fire alarm. Those whose security badges worked to get back in still had jobs”

Jim Holincheck forwarded a note from Thomas Crampton about a layoff in Hong Kong. The story was that the HR manager pulled a fire alarm. If your badge didn’t get you back in the building, you were laid off.

Great story, huh? And, in this climate, very believable.

A smart reader noticed the ridiculousness of the tale, did some research and discovered it was an “urban myth”. She notified me on Facebook.  She noticed the extreme lack of detail that characterizes an urban legend.I started to dig into it for myself. Here’s the source of the story.

Okay, I feel pretty dumb.

There are a couple of takeaways here.

– Research before you retweet.
– If it sounds funny to you, check it out.

Oh, and thanks, Ellen.

I’m on TwitterFacebook, LinkedIn and Friendfeed. Catch up with me.


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