You’ve probably all seen the fake Morgan Freeman quote about the media turning killers into famous, household names going viral on Facebook and Twitter and all the other major social media networks out there. It’s so famous, it caught the attention of Mashable. The story is mainly about the wrongful attribution, then followed by a close look into the original source of the message.
The hoax talks abut the Newtown, Conn., school shooting, saying that in most cases people know the name of the killer, but have no clue about those of the victims. Labeling a shooting or another as the one with the highest death toll or the youngest victims would only make another psychopath want to top it. It then states the perpetrators should remain anonymous and forgotten when covering such news.
True enough, but then there would be no cool nicknames for serial killers and other disturbed individuals, no sensationalism and we all know that sells. Just as we know that this opinion, no matter how brilliant, would have never become viral, nor would have it made it so quickly into Mashable’s news stream without being attributed to Morgan Freeman.
This brilliant man also happens to be a household name, a global one at that. So saying that was his opinion makes sure people pay attention to an idea they would have otherwise overlooked. Everything sounds cooler and better when someone extremely famous is at the source. Famous writers and poets and rock stars. The more attention they currently get, the better.
Did this message sounded like a hoax? Probably! Did people still share it, just because they liked it and posting a Morgan Freeman quote is cool, even if a fake one? You bet! The who still outranks the what. Who they are comes first, what they have to say is only cool because it was them who said it in the first place.
Am I thankful someone thought of saying Morgan Freeman was the author? Somewhat, yest! It is a pretty solid opinion, one I tend to agree with. One I would have never heard without the whole hoax aspect. And what comes after that.. a bit of sadness. We like to think the Internet and social media is where everyone’s opinion matters. In some cases, if you are lucky enough, your message will become famous despite your lack of crowds of fans and followers. But more often than not you need a friendly push from someone famous, be it genuine or fake, to get the message across.