Essay:If it is not on the internet, it can't be true

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If it is Not on the Internet it Can't be True[edit]

The internet is a wonder of the modern age, a supply of almost all information from human history, therefore the internet knows everything (see: Many conspiracy nuts will happily inform you that just because something can't be found with a search engine, then it cannot possibly be true. This means you must be a liar of the highest order when you present them with knowledge gleaned from a book, or a library, or even (shock horror) from your own personal experience.

Examples of things that cannot be found on the internet, but can be found in other places.[edit]

A copy of Himmler's diary can be found in Germen newspaper Bild, printed only in German. This cannot be found online in English at the time of typing (29th Aug 2016). This means that if you present a holocaust denier with information from this diary, it must be falsified, and thus is not proof of Himmler's opinions in any way.

Unedited pictures of a spherical Earth cannot be found on the internet, or anywhere else (with the exception of moon landing pics, but we all know we can't use something so blatant as proof) . This is because satellites do not go far enough away from the Earth to take such pictures, and probes have limited fuel, so they can't simply turn round, take a pic and then turn back without becoming the most expensive photo ever taken. Composite images are simply lots of smaller pictures stuck together, but any NASA conspiracy theorist will tell you that "this means Photoshop, therefore the picture is purely CGI".

Proof that the queen of England is NOT a lizard monster. Ok, well common sense tells you that you should not need proof, yet surprisingly it has come up in the author's experience more than once.

What can I do about this?[edit]

1) Judgement: If you are offered some information that cannot be found offline, can you find it in a library or in a museum? Is the information realistic? Probably not, or you wouldn't be questioning it. Can you find conflicting information from a reliable source that proves it wrong?

2) Explain: Although explaining something to a person who refuses to take off a tin foil hat is pretty useless, often you can baffle them with your superior knowledge of a given subject. If, for example, you live in Germany and speaking fluent German that would be a great reason why you have been reading Himmler's diary excerpts.

3) Point them to the source: Many libraries and museums keep an online database telling you what can be seen when you visit them. Most newspapers these days have online sections that tell you what you can find if you actually pay for a copy. Once you have referred your idiot (Sorry, meant to type conspiracy theorist) to the correct source, if they cannot be bothered to take a trip to the museum/library in question, or does not buy the newspaper, you can berate them endlessly about their inability to do proper fact checking.

4) Photographs: If you are on a forum that allows web links, or photograph uploads, you can take a picture of your source and upload it, so your conspiracy theorist can then shout and scream about how you faked it.

5) Personal experience: If your information is purely from personal experience (i.e you have seen a rocket take off and enter space), do you have any evidence that others have seen the same thing. Are there photographs of you watching it? Are there photographs online of others watching the event, others who may have posted online about their own similar experiences?

Sources[edit] Can't Lie On The Internet