How to Avoid Reposting Urban Legends
You’ve seen the emails and Facebook posts from your friends:
- OMG – this famous actor just died!
- Please take these actions to protect my Facebook privacy.
- Watch out for this new computer virus!!!
- A friend of a friend woke up in the bathtub with his kidney missing!!!!!
Frequently followed by a request to repost/forward to all of your friends.
But before you do that, take this step in order to avoid passing on an Urban Legend:
Most businesses that offer customer service phone numbers would much rather you conduct all of your interactions with their automated services (e.g., “press 1 for your balance, press 2 to make a payment, …” etc.). Reaching a real human being to address your “none of those choices” issue can be difficult. Two standard techniques that work less often these days are:
♦ Press “0”
♦ Don’t press or say anything in hopes of being eventually transferred to a human
If neither of those work, and the menu does not give you an option to contact a real person, your next step is to visit the website GetHuman
GetHuman is a free crowd-sourced information site. Enter the name of a company or a product in their search field to get both the best phone number and exactly how to manipulate the call menu to reach a person. For instance I got this searching for Bank of America Click to see larger image):
Good luck in your search for humans!
When I’m going to meet up with a potential new musical partner, buy something from a Craigslist ad, or go anywhere unfamiliar and non-public alone, I usually tell my partner or a friend the who/what/where/when and ask them to follow up if I don’t contact them to say it’s cool. Hopefully you do the same.
Now there’s a free way to do this without requiring as much pre-planning (or the risk of forgetting to tell your friend it’s okay and they wonder if they should call the police!):
You’ve heard the saying “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”? While not always true, it IS the case that any online mention of a website URL improves its “score” in search engines like Google and Bing.
This means that if you want to alert your web readers to a site that is promoting a scam, fraud, bad science, or other misinformation your very use of that site’s address will improve it’s “score” for searches on related keywords. For example, a site that claims global warming is a myth will appear closer to the top of searches on “global warming”.
So how do you discuss this site without giving it a search engine boost? Continue reading