Why Urban Myths Can Really Screw People Over

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It’s probably safe to say that for anyone reading this there was a persistent rumour or urban myth about someone, or something in the neighbourhood you grew up in. In every neighbourhood there is one rumour that persists over almost every other. That a Chinese takeaway or other comparable service provider is catching and cooking household pets, you know, instead of buying chicken, beef and pork from a wholesaler for like 2 bucks a pound.

Yes, that'll do fine, throw a dozen into the fryer.

Yes, that’ll do fine, throw a dozen into the fryer.

Obviously these rumours and stories usually have less grounding in fact and proof behind them than a ninja’s farts, so surely no one ever takes them seriously? Is a question you know we’re going to blow straight out of the water like the shark from Jaw’s on crack. Because that can and does happen, just consider the plight of the Chee family in England, who saw bookings plummet like balloons made of lead weak knees after some asshat started a rumour that they choked on a dog’s identification chip while eating some pork ball on some internet forum. Despite the rumour having absolutely no basis in fact, since restaurants owned by people who murder dogs tend to get shut down by the freaking police, people not only believed it, but started perpetuating the rumour to ward off other potential customers. Since in their minds, something they’d read on the internet totally countered the fact that the family run business they walked past every day had never once been shut down with a sign outside it saying, “we’re sorry about, Fido”.

So yeah, basically, no matter how stupid or unbelievable a rumour sounds, chances are, not only is there someone out there who believes it, but it’s probably causing someone, somewhere actual monetary losses. Holy crap, like 80% of everything ever posted online is a stupid rumour someone claims to know for sure, and we blame bankers for the recession?

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