Less than 5 hours after the bombing yesterday I saw two articles circulating (and several status updates) about pages that were created hours or days before the Boston Marathon bombing ever happened.

Q: Is this a conspiracy?

A: Things are not always what they seem.

I’ve had it with this stuff. I am a cynical conservative and I don’t trust this government one iota, but some things are silly. I believe it is healthy to have an open mind and question things and I never discount a conspiracy. However, I want to teach you today about how these Facebook pages are created well in advance of tragic events like the Boston terrorist bombing or the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.

I would hope that a lot of people will read this and understand it because we are making ourselves look silly out there. I almost fell for it myself. Let me tell you about Sandy Hook and how I learned what I now know.

I found one of those “RIP Victoria Soto” pages on Facebook. I think it has been taken down since but it was the same old story. It had been created days (see picture above) before the shooting took place. I fell for the hype. I was doing research for an article and very close to publishing it. The problem is partially Facebook’s support. There are a lot of things that can be done on Facebook but not everyone knows about them. I am not complaining Mr. Zuckerberg because Facebook is still free, and always will be. Right?  😉

I was somewhat educated but knowing half of the truth will get you in more trouble sometimes than knowing nothing. Here is the common belief among Facebook folks like myself.

You can change the name of a Facebook page that does not have very many members, but you cannot change the URL of the site.

This was my belief. I could understand how someone with only 100 likes could rededicate their Facebook page to Victoria Soto, but I firmly believed that the URL (site address) could not be changed. This particular page was one that had “RIP-Victoria-Soto” in the address. This was an obvious conspiracy. Or was it?

So I had an 800-1000 word article almost ready to go. I was literally a short proofreading session away from publishing it. Something made me keep looking to verify and I’m glad I did. It would not have been the first time I unknowingly put out false information but at least it did not happen this time.

A lot of the arguments that this cannot be done come from people who have changed the name of their page(s) and the address(es) stayed the same. This is a fictitious example but let me explain. Say, for instance, that I have a page called “Dean Garrison is Cool” and I change it to “Dean Garrison is Not Cool.” I can simply go in and rename my page and the page may go by the new name but still have the old web address.
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