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Tall tales and the Duck test

Mark Gibbs | March 21, 2011
"If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck."

The whole mess is shameful on the part of The Daily Caller, The Blaze, and every other online publication that accepted what was unfounded, unprofessional opinion, and recycled it as fact.

But there's another aspect to this: The circulation of tall tales will always be part of our culture and therefore part of the online world. That said, we, as online readers, need to be far more critical and more demanding. We need to look for veracity. We need to demand support for assertions of any kind, but especially those that appear to fail the smell test. And we need to make the smell test more rigorous.

When you find yourself thinking "this can't be real?!" listen to what your commonsense is telling you: If it quacks, it's probably not an eagle.


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