(WMC) - It sounds like Big Brother is out to get us, that there's a war on bikers and the leaders of 11 states are leading the charge. Reports surfacing this month online, especially on social media, claim there is a crackdown underway against bikers, that even the federal government is getting on board. It makes for a compelling story and definitely a controversy. It's divisive, even explosive. It's also completely false.
The reports stem from a web site called "Associated Media Coverage." Sounds all official and such, but it just isn't. It's unclear if those behind the post are trying to intentionally deceive the public, or if it's unlabeled satire. Either way, thousands have shared the story, they continue to do so as we speak.
The post from March 7, 2016 reads:
Online myth buster Snopes.com writes in this article:
"Unlike many web sites that publish "satirical" items (also known as fake news), Associated Media Coverage featured no disclaimer warning readers that its content was not to be taken seriously. Each page displayed an "About Us" link at the bottom, which was not operational."
There are several obvious problems with the story, not the least of which is the United States Constitution. But common sense should kick in as well. If the government were to target such a large group of people like this, certainly more than one unknown outlet would report on it. Clearly it would have been reported in this very blog just for starters.
No matter the motivation, the results are clear: even in this skeptical world you can find people who will believe almost anything.
Here's an idea. Instead of spending time online spreading rumors, let's spend more time on two wheels enjoying our motorcycles.
Please be careful out there and follow me on social media:
Chris Best is the Assistant News Director for WMC Action News 5. He's a husband and father of four, He's also a motorcycle enthusiast.