One of the most popular articles on The Huffington Post right now is about a Republican Congressional proposal called "HR 205, The Geometric Simplification Act," which aims to make the value of pi "exactly 3." Reading the article carefully, it's pretty clear it's satire: "'It’s no panacea, but this legislation will point us in the right direction. Looking at hard data, we know our children are struggling with a heck of a lot of the math, including the geometry incorporating pi,' Roby said. 'I guarantee you American scores will go up once pi is 3. It will be so much easier.'" And Ron Workman has traced its origin to an ancient Internet rumor that was debunked by Snopes in 1998. (The real HR 205 under consideration by Congress now is actually about Native American tribal land-leasing.)
But here's the thing: Thanks to the A.D.D.-enabling power of social media, all it takes is a truncated Facebook headline and excerpt for people to form an opinion about a story, and many of them don't actually read it.