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Rumor, Fear, and Conspiracies
Online - Medford
Subjects: United States; Communications & information management
Author: Badke, William
Date: Jul/Aug 2012
Start Page: 48
Pages: 3
Section: infolit land
Abstract (Document Summary)

The ancient Mayan calendar has decreed it. On that day, the earth's poles will reverse and they'll all be deluged in massive floods, assuming the sun doesn't fry them first. Just do a Google search for 2012, and you'll see. The first page of results hosts sites devoted to the 2009 movie 2012, whose premise was inspired by the Mayan prediction. It also brings up Survive 2012 by Robert Bast with its advice to "Please, find yourself a safe spot out of the city, and store up food and water." Google's first page of 2012 results has the more sober response of NASA to all the 2012 hysteria. The promotion of unfounded beliefs will go on, and fear-mongering is rampant. In fact, the rapid opening of information availability and the rapid diminishing of formal gatekeeping has left far more prone to being fed unreliable messages.

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