A group of Boston-based developers have released a new Chrome extension called LazyTruth, designed to fact check the never ending flood of chain letters from the aunts, uncles, and grandparents. As Nieman Lab points out, there are plenty of other sites dedicated to debunking these rumors, but they often don't reach the people who pass on these emails. While it's true that those people aren't likely to install LazyTruth either, developers say the extension allows you to press a button when you receive a chain letter, get the facts, and immediately send them back to the sender.
Developers designed the extension using the Debunking Handbook, a decision they claim makes LazyTruth more effective than other information sites like FactCheck.org. For example, the Debunking Handbook says to use visuals when possible, so LazyTruth provides a picture of the President and First Lady with the White House Christmas tree to debunk a rumor claiming Obama intends to abolish the national Christmas tree. Even so, it's unlikely that LazyTruth will make a large impact on the continued practice of forwarding chain emails — it's just easier to filter out or delete the messages than to try and correct a bullheaded family member.
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